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 Post subject: European Go Championship 2021 Soon to Begin
Post #1 Posted: Tue Nov 09, 2021 1:41 pm 
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One of the most important tournaments in Europe - the European Championship - is soon to begin.

Jean-Yves Papazoglou wrote an article containing the announcement of the European Go Championship 2021 and a dedicated crowdfunding campaign, accompanied by highlights from the history of the event: https://eurogofed.org/index.html?id=325

Want to learn about the most successful European champions of the past or how the tournament will be organized this year? All of that you can find in Jean-Yves’ article!

Same as last year, this year once again the EGF is asking go fans to support our strongest players. The supporters will get some exclusive rewards, so hurry up to check the crowdfunding page: https://www.okpal.com/2021-european-go- ... 23rd-dece/

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 Post subject: Re: European Go Championship 2021 Soon to Begin
Post #2 Posted: Tue Nov 09, 2021 8:03 pm 
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 Post subject: Re: European Go Championship 2021 Soon to Begin
Post #3 Posted: Tue Nov 09, 2021 11:19 pm 
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In emails circulated to associations and strong players, the tournament has been correctly called "2021 online European Championship". Now, the EGF webpage https://eurogofed.org/index.html?id=325 and this thread upsell the online tournament as "European Go Championship 2021" and the EGF puts it in line with all the earlier European Go Championships, of which most were at European Go Congresses, of which almost all were their main tournaments.

This sudden forging equation of real world and online tournaments is terrible! They are not of the same nature! Players can have different playing strengths on real boards versus computer hardware and when forced to use camera recording as (attempted) anti-cheating measure.

First, the EGF lowered the relevance of "European Go Championships" by replacing "Europeans" by "players of EGF member countries". Second, the EGF further lowers the relevance of "European Go Championships" by pretending that online tournaments equalled real world tournaments.

The EGF ought to remain honest and always clearly indicate online tournaments as such. If Corona-driven online editions shall be seen as an emergency means continuing the regular European Go Championships, then at the very least it must always be stated clearly which tournaments have been real world and which online.

The EGF results webpage https://www.eurogofed.org/results/ does it reasonably: 2020 and 2021 are called Online as venues. The EGF list of European Go Congresses https://www.eurogofed.org/results/congress.htm also lists European Champions and becomes confusing because of the now also existing online champions in these years without congresses.

EDIT: it is also remarkable that none of the European, non-EGF pros participates, although surely they would have had sufficient rating. This includes Alexander Dinerchtein (7 times European Champion), Catalin Taranu (former European Champion) and Antti Törmänen. (Guo Juan has not played in European Go Congress's European Championships for years.)


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 Post subject: Re: European Go Championship 2021 Soon to Begin
Post #4 Posted: Wed Nov 10, 2021 2:19 am 
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RobertJasiek wrote:
In emails circulated to associations and strong players,


Sometimes there is discussion, proposals, votes and so on about tournament formats but other times we hear nothing. It is what it is. It does look similar enough to the normal format, maybe less players? I am not sure.

I can say for myself that I support online events and that they are treated similarly to over-the-board events. I don’t completely understand the objections, except that ideally if we had 1+ million go players in Europe I might agree. This is always a discussion that goes all over the place.

About this “passport holder of EGF member country” thing. I’d support a 5 year habitual residence in any European country as the basic “nationality” criteria for qualifying as a player in European events, but the EGF and most national associations go to other criteria all the time. As far as I know this has never been discussed comprehensively among EGF member associations. There obviously must be some criteria but, honestly, I think such criteria have been updated in the past when legitimate but technically unqualified candidates have presented themselves. I hope that is still the modus operandi.

In fact all of these things could warrant a discussion separate from the announcement of this years European Go Championship.

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 Post subject: Re: European Go Championship 2021 Soon to Begin
Post #5 Posted: Wed Nov 10, 2021 2:35 am 
Judan

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The nationality aspect was changed and discussed a bit for the AGM 2009.

Online go differs:
- computer playing material instead of physical playing material
- no physically present opponent and organisers
- greater possibility for cheating and much more prominent anti-cheating means
- internet connection problems
- optionally other time settings
- optionally other rating treatment

Assuming the same time settings, the different playing material, missing physical presence and the anti-cheating means affect the playing quality of some, but not all, players. Some play worse, equally or better than in real world games. This means that expected game or tournament results need not be the same in real world or online variants of a tournament.

In particular, I know that I play worse online tournaments even with the same time settings because physical playing material lets me plan better, the physical presence emphasises the importance of the tournament and anti-cheating means make me nervous, angry etc. thereby badly impacting my play.

Of course, there can be real world and online tournaments but one should not substitute the other.

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 Post subject: Re: European Go Championship 2021 Soon to Begin
Post #6 Posted: Wed Nov 10, 2021 4:20 am 
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RobertJasiek wrote:

In particular, I know that I play worse online tournaments even with the same time settings because physical playing material lets me plan better, the physical presence emphasises the importance of the tournament and anti-cheating means make me nervous, angry etc. thereby badly impacting my play.

Of course, there can be real world and online tournaments but one should not substitute the other.


I'm willing to accept that these differences can be generalized across the playing field but we have no data on it. We don't know if the variance on performance online vs physical games is bigger than the variance of e.g. the luminosity in the room of 2 physical events, the noise, the amount of passers by ...

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 Post subject: Re: European Go Championship 2021 Soon to Begin
Post #7 Posted: Wed Nov 10, 2021 6:52 am 
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To start with some data: For the 2021 German Championship, we had to decide between real world and online. The majority of participants with an opinion preferred the real world. (I understand that national travel is easier than international travel these days.)

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 Post subject: Re: European Go Championship 2021 Soon to Begin
Post #8 Posted: Wed Nov 10, 2021 7:12 am 
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RobertJasiek wrote:
To start with some data: For the 2021 German Championship, we had to decide between real world and online. The majority of participants with an opinion preferred the real world. (I understand that national travel is easier than international travel these days.)


The participants' preference is very relevant data for the relevancy of the Championship and therefore indirectly for its legitimacy. It's not an objective measure for the difference in performance under either condition.

Anyway I'm jesting. I think it's fair to distinguish between a traditional championship and its online version, even if a temporary shift becomes a permanent one, if not due to epidemics then because of the climate.

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 Post subject: Re: European Go Championship 2021 Soon to Begin
Post #9 Posted: Fri Nov 12, 2021 11:05 am 
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By browsing the EGF site, I find two points that grate me:

* Not a single woman. I instinctually distrust affirmative action, but... really? Not a one? And then they'll want women to join, sure.

* No professionals from Asian organizations. I've vented before about that.

Basically, am I supposed to think Joanne Missingham, 7th @#&!! dan, can't hold her own against 5th dan amas? We have four female pros in Europe (all certified outside). Did really not a single one of them qualify? Were they even invited? If they didn't want in... Why?

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 Post subject: Re: European Go Championship 2021 Soon to Begin
Post #10 Posted: Fri Nov 12, 2021 1:59 pm 
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Participants must have a passport from an EGF country and be active players.

Where did you find the list of participants? Or can you post it here?

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 Post subject: Re: European Go Championship 2021 Soon to Begin
Post #11 Posted: Fri Nov 12, 2021 2:50 pm 
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I see that
Quote:
The EGF has introduced a completely new system for this year’s edition of the European Championship.
Technically, it might not have the right to do this, at least that would be the impression one would have form having read of the debates around what form the Championship should take at the EGF's AGM. Still, this isn't an interesting area to discuss, it was asked who is playing.

https://eurogofed.org/egc/2021.html#brackets gives you an overview, but notes
Quote:
Final version after 15th November 2021

Qualification seems to be on the basis of highest rating from a tournament game on, or after Nov 11th 2020.

There is a lot of talk about pot on the page.

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 Post subject: Re: European Go Championship 2021 Soon to Begin
Post #12 Posted: Fri Nov 12, 2021 3:02 pm 
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Ferran wrote:
By browsing the EGF site, I find two points that grate me:

* Not a single woman. I instinctually distrust affirmative action, but... really? Not a one? And then they'll want women to join, sure.

* No professionals from Asian organizations. I've vented before about that.

Basically, am I supposed to think Joanne Missingham, 7th @#&!! dan, can't hold her own against 5th dan amas? We have four female pros in Europe (all certified outside). Did really not a single one of them qualify? Were they even invited? If they didn't want in... Why?

Take care


I am not sure if you are talking about, is it the European Championship or the EGF website per-se? Your first point is not true about the website at all or the EGF in general. Then you talk about 5 dans but there is no 5 dan in the European Championship, the field appears to be 6 dan and up this year (maybe because there are 24 players instead of 32 last year).

It is not just about qualifying, it is also about registering for the selection of players. There are sadly many players that could qualify that choose not to compete in this and many other events.

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 Post subject: Re: European Go Championship 2021 Soon to Begin
Post #13 Posted: Fri Nov 12, 2021 3:05 pm 
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Oh I didn't see the bottom of the page (and didn't smoke anything). Indeed there is no woman. Maybe they should have given a wild card to the female European Champion? Or maybe they did and she declined?


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 Post subject: Re: European Go Championship 2021 Soon to Begin
Post #14 Posted: Sat Nov 13, 2021 5:00 am 
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jlt wrote:
Oh I didn't see the bottom of the page (and didn't smoke anything). Indeed there is no woman. Maybe they should have given a wild card to the female European Champion? Or maybe they did and she declined?


There are 1001 options, and a 1001 reasons why a specific player might not join a tournament. Or why a tournament might run out of candidates, or ways to accomodate. I don't know.

I do know perception is a reality of its own. I'll come to that later.

Then, an association, any association, has to deal with growth and reason. For example, any go association would probably grow more if it started setting up soccer tournaments. But that would collude with its reason. What I'm not sure is that the EGF has a proper balance, or that it has a clear vision of its reason. Is it there so that people can play? Internet has sort of turned that obsolete, even if you only use it to set up real life meetings through Whatsapp. Is it there to give pros a marketing push? That's the origins of the Kiin, as I understand it, but not of the EGF.

If the reason for the EGF is the *promotion* of Go, then not using Asian certified Pros AND not making sure there are women in the *general* events is a mistake. It's not a question of rank. That 5d in the listing might actually be the best player, for all I know, and 5d is simply his current rank. But at some point some young woman who's discovered Go is going to browse those pages, and the Pro Qual pages and ask herself... "Do they even _want_ me, in there?" Sure, it's a question as old as time, but... we can do better. Specially because we DO actually have good female players. The Asians themselves have told us that. But, as I see it, the message right now is that, if you're a woman, you're out of luck: you can play in the Female Tournament or Go East, but there's not much for you here.

And it might be completely accidental, the whole issue might not have crossed anyone's mind... But it's there.

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 Post subject: Re: European Go Championship 2021 Soon to Begin
Post #15 Posted: Sat Nov 13, 2021 6:31 am 
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I don't think the championship is the best place to do that, not when the number of places are limited and effectively then you are going to steal fro somebody else the chance to be champion. Pair Go and the EWGC are generally the places where women's go is promoted.

One nice touch would be to borrow a rule from the 4NCL. There each team must contain at least 1 female player. Could the Euro Teams (PGETC) benefit from the rule?

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 Post subject: Re: European Go Championship 2021 Soon to Begin
Post #16 Posted: Sat Nov 13, 2021 7:48 am 
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The European Championship is usually (as decided in 2011) a knockout tournament between the 32 European nationals who are placed highest after the 6th round of the Open European Championship. There are no wildcard and such things if I remember the details. This year the Open European Championship is not held so there is a need to pick the players if the European Championship is to be held. At least the format is fair in principle and it is hard to understand the criticisms.

There are in fact very strong female go players that qualify the nationality requirement that would only need to register (and possibly show up for a single tournament sometimein the last 2 years). It is not unreasonable to require that players that join this kind of high profile tournament have a minimum participation in the European tournament scene and show enough interest to register.

Is it necessary to point out that women have won the European Championship in the past, many times?

Ferran wrote:
But, as I see it, the message right now is that, if you're a woman, you're out of luck: you can play in the Female Tournament or Go East, but there's not much for you here.


There is a fair selection rule to replace the 6th round rule because the open tournament can't be held and you say people are not welcome.

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 Post subject: Re: European Go Championship 2021 Soon to Begin
Post #17 Posted: Sat Nov 13, 2021 9:03 am 
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Ferran wrote:
What I'm not sure is that the EGF has a proper balance, or that it has a clear vision of its reason. Is it there so that people can play? Internet has sort of turned that obsolete, even if you only use it to set up real life meetings through Whatsapp. Is it there to give pros a marketing push? That's the origins of the Kiin, as I understand it, but not of the EGF.

If the reason for the EGF is the *promotion* of Go, then not using Asian certified Pros AND not making sure there are women in the *general* events is a mistake. It's not a question of rank.

I believe you're conflating the purpose of the EGF with the purpose of the European championship. While the EGF has many goals, including the promotion of go, the main goal of the European championship, as I understand it, is to find the strongest European player(s). So, it very much is a question of rank (or rather, rating and playing strength).

The rules for selecting the candidates are quite clear, reasonable and don't favour any gender. Here's a direct quote from the 2021 tournament rules:
Quote:
24 top European players (passport of EGF member country required) will participate in the event. They can be either amateur or professional players.

The players qualify for participation in order of their best achieved EGF rating within the last twelve months (1.11.2020 – 31.10.2021), as given in the EGF rating database by 31.10.2021.

A minimum of 2351 EGD rating is requested.

Only active players with a tournament result since 1.01.2019 documented in the EGD will be taken into account.

The selection is done as follows:

a) Nominate the Top 8 from 2020 European Championship
b) Then, we nominate 13 players from EGD list based on max rating 1.11.2020 – 31.10.2021
c) U20 champion at 2021 European Youth Championship
d) 2 EGF wildcards

Players who want to play the European Championship have to preregister [...] for the EC latest till the deadline for registration is: 31.10.2021

Who are these strong female players that meet the criteria but were not included? If we take into account that the lowest ranked player who was nominated has the rating of 2566, then the only female player who could potentially participate is Svetlana Shikshina and she's only played in 4 tournaments in the past 5 years so doesn't seem to be particularly active. I only did a quick search so may have missed someone but clearly there's not many potential female candidates.

The only contentious issue here are the wildcards and I'm generally in favour of them being given to strong young players as it was done in the Pro qualification tournament.
Ferran wrote:
But, as I see it, the message right now is that, if you're a woman, you're out of luck: you can play in the Female Tournament or Go East, but there's not much for you here.

I've yet to hear of a single European tournament where women aren't allowed to or aren't welcome to join provided they meet any required nationality, age and strength criteria. What is more, I never felt that the European Women's championship was particularly well-attended, especially since many strong female players choose not to participate and I doubt it's because they're not feeling welcome.

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 Post subject: Re: European Go Championship 2021 Soon to Begin
Post #18 Posted: Sat Nov 13, 2021 11:29 am 
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It's always easy to say that there are no explicit hurdles for a part of the population, but there are many invisible ones that are not intentional. There is no intrinsic reason for there being no active woman player in the top ratings, but rather the observation that there are much fewer women even in the dan ranks. I think that's because there are much fewer women investing so much time into the game. If you want to improve that, one step is to enhance visibility of woman players, so that more women see that the top ranks are not a male domain. And I think that is a very good use of wildcards.

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 Post subject: Re: European Go Championship 2021 Soon to Begin
Post #19 Posted: Sun Nov 14, 2021 12:25 am 
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I guess I was wrong that the 6th round rule was still being used, the EX seems to have published new rules for the EC regularly. I forgot that because I am excited about the topic :D

Harleqin wrote:
It's always easy to say that there are no explicit hurdles for a part of the population, but there are many invisible ones that are not intentional. There is no intrinsic reason for there being no active woman player in the top ratings, but rather the observation that there are much fewer women even in the dan ranks.


There are strong and active women players, there are also two less active former EC champions (one of which would have qualified if I understand the rules).

I think the "unintentional" hurdle with the EC is that it is a small invitational tournament (that is not unintentional per-se but rather not intended to exclude anyone in particular) but small invitational tournaments are never going to include everyone because they are small and invite participants based on narrow criteria such as recent rating.

Harleqin wrote:
If you want to improve that, one step is to enhance visibility of woman players, so that more women see that the top ranks are not a male domain. And I think that is a very good use of wildcards.


Alternatively it could be possible to organize a larger tournament with qualification rounds (possibly online or partially online) that includes a lot more players. There is a number of active female 5 dans, also 5 dan teenagers and the top players in most European countries haven't had a realistic chance to qualify to the championship for years. That also sums up the problem with wildcards, there isn't a criteria for wildcards that satisfies everyone.

The argument against that is probably something along the lines that larger tournament is a bigger undertaking, that the rating list is a good way to replace qualification rounds, and that we have to draw the line somewhere. But then again, a larger tournament would lower the barrier of entry and allow the fans see their players.


Last edited by kvasir on Sun Nov 14, 2021 6:24 am, edited 1 time in total.
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 Post subject: Re: European Go Championship 2021 Soon to Begin
Post #20 Posted: Sun Nov 14, 2021 2:21 am 
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Giving a wildcard to the current U20 champion and the Female European champion, if they didn't already qualify, would sound very reasonable. That's at most 2 players out of 24. I guess a higher number of players than that would have qualified but chose not to participate.

I mean, the number of players in the tournament, 24, is quite arbitrary, it could have been 16 or 32 or any number in between.

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