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The Romanian Go Federation

Since 1990, the Romanian Go Federation has been affiliated with the Romanian Ministry of Youth and Sports, which gives it financial support. Thanks to this, we have been able not only to help players participate in the official internal tournaments but also to help strong players play in many major European tournaments. Actually, the main goal of our federation was (although not explicitly expressed) to increase the strength of the players. We find now that this goal has been achieved: we have one 6-dan player and six 5-dan players, with a total of 40 dan players.

Unfortunately, the total number of players is about the same as three years ago: a little over 400 players who take part in the official tournaments (and perhaps another 400 who play occasionally). We found, therefore, that our strategy may have been too one-sided: we neglected the development of go as a whole in Romania. In the future the main task for our federation should be not only to achieve good results in international tournaments but also to increase the number of go players in Romania by devoting much more effort to promoting go among children.

Romania in international tournaments

1993 was a very good year for international results. First of all, there was the performance of Marcel Crâșmaru, the 1992 national champion, who came 13th at the World Amateur Go Championship. This was the first time that a Romanian player won five games out of eight at the WAGC! This was quite unespected (even for us), as it had been a surprise when Marcel won the 1992 National Championship to qualify for the WAGC. In previous years our 'record' was just four wins out of eight.

Because of the good results obtained by Romanian players at the last three European championships, our country had two players invited to the EGF- Ing Cup this year. Our representatives, Cătălin Țăranu and Ion Florescu (the top two place-getters in a qualifying tournament held in January) obtained the best results for Romanian players so far: Cătălin won four games out of six and took 8th place, while Ion came 13th with three wins.

Romanian participation in the Grand Prix d'Europe was also successful. At the Plzen Grand Prix, Cătălin Țăranu took 4th place, being defeated only by Mihai Bîscă (another strong Romanian player who ended up 7th). In May, at the Budapest Grand Prix, the same Cătălin Țăranu finished second, while Ion Florescu shared third place with the Czech player Vladimir Danek.

Another great success was achieved by Cătălin Țăranu at the European Go Championship. With seven points out of ten, he tied for 6th place, which translates to equal third if we consider only European players! Actually all the Romanian players had good results: all the eight players sent by our federation won places in the top 40, which means that 20% of the top 40 were Romanians. The good result achieved by Cătălin Țăranu earned him a place in the Fujitsu Finals for Europe (16 players, knockout system). Unfortunately for him, he lost in the first round to Matthew Macfadyen.

In September, Robert Mateescu returned from Japan after a year and a half of training as an insei. This experience was possible thanks to the Nihon Ki-in, to whom we would like to express our gratitude.

Go tournaments in Romania 1993

In Romanian go there are three main tournaments every year: the National Championship, the Romanian Go Cup, and the Federation Trophy. Each has several qualifying stages. As a rule, during each of these stages, an open side tournament is organized for those not involved in that stage.

To play in the National Championship, one has to be at least shodan. The semifmal stage was held in Bucharest in October, and 23 participants competed for six places in the final stage. The six qualifiers were joined by Marcel Crâșmaru and Lucian Deaconu (the top two players in the previous year) in an eight-player roundrobin tournament in November, also in Bucharest. The winner was Robert Mateescu 5- dan, followed by Cătălin Țăranu 6-dan and Lucian Deaconu 4-dan. So, Robert Mateescu will represent Romania at the 1994 WAGe. The top three place-getters received very nice trophies from the Japanese Embassy.

The first three places in the side tournament were taken by Cristian Pop 4-dan, Radu Baciu 4- dan, and Raimond Dragomir 2-dan.

In the Romanian Go Cup, there are five stages before the winner is decided. The first begins in June and the final is in April of the following year. The semifinals of the 1992- 93 Romanian Go Cup were held in Vatra Dornei in February. The shodan and 2-dan players were joined by the qualifiers from the previous stage to decide the six players who would go on to the final stage (the top three were Cristian Pop 2- dan, Ioan Cora 2-dan, and Vladimir Patap 1- dan). In the side tournament the winners were Cătălin Țăranu 5-dan, Liviu Oprișan 4-dan, and Marcel Crâșmaru 4-dan.

The final of the Cup was held, as usual, in April in Craiova. The 3- to 5-dan players joined the six qualifiers from the semifinals. The winner was Cătălin Țăranu 5-dan, followed by Ion Florescu 5-dan and Lucrețiu Calotă 5-dan.

Unlike the National Championship, the Cup is open to all players weaker than 8-kyu in the first stage, which consists of several local tournaments. The winners of these tournaments are joined by 4- to 8-kyu players in the second stage. This was held in July at Lacu Sărat, and 11 players qualified for the next stage (the top three were Eugen Nițu 4-kyu, Constantin Avram 5- kyu, and Vivian Socol 4-kyu). The side tournament was won by Radu Baciu 4-dan, followed by Lucian Deaconu 4-dan and Carmen Mateescu l-kyu.

In the third stage of the 1993- 94 Romanian Cup (the quarterfinals), the 11 qualifiers from the second stage joined the 1- to 3-kyu players, and six players qualified for the semifinals (the top three were Bogdan Ghica 2-kyu, Claudiu Nuteanu 2-kyu, and Marius Constantinescu 2- kyu). The semifmals and final are to be held in 1994.

The third of the big three titles, the Federation Trophy, is sponsored by Stiinta si Technica magazine, the one which published in 1983, for the first time in Romania, a monthly go course for beginners. At the end of the year, in December, 16 players qualify (according to a strict, points-based system taking into account the year's results in all tournaments) for the semifinal stage. The challenger is decided in a 'two-lives' knockout system (like the Judan tournament in Japan). This year Robert Mateescu won the final game against Liviu Oprișan 4-dan (who was the surprise of this tournament) to become the challenger. He will playa five-game match with the title holder Cătălin Țaranu (the only 6-dan in Romania) in March 1994.

For four straight years, from 1989 to 1992, the title holder was Mihai Bîscă 5-dan, but he lost the title 0-3 to Catalin Taranu in March 1993.

This year's women's championship was won, as in previous years, by the strongest Romanian woman player, Carmen Mateescu l-kyu. Carmen is also a very good go teacher: she organizes lessons for children at a comprehensive school in Bucharest and has more than 30 'little insei' in her class. Other strong go centres for children are in Turnu Severin (organized by Marcel Daescu), in Braila (organized by Iulian Toma), and in Bistrița (organized by Teodor Virtic).

This year, for the first time, our federation made serious efforts to spread go among children by organizing a go camp for them in Lacu Sărat from 13 to 22 July. Here, besides teaching activities, the first National Youth Championship was held. The under-ten group was won by Irina Bănică (Turnu Severin). The winners of the other four groups were: 11 - 12, Cristian Berceanu (Turnu Severin); 13- 14, Ciprian Bulz (Bistrița); 15- 16, Florin Voinea (Braila); 17- 18, Adrian Niță (Brăila).

Another annual event is the National Team Championship, which this year was held at Brașov in November. The top three teams proved to be: 'Zaharoase 1' (Robert Mateescu, Ion Florescu, Sorin Gherman, Daniel Cioată); 'Vatra Dornei' (Cătălin Țăranu, Lucrețiu Calotă, Marcel Crâșmaru, Cristian Pop); 'Locomotiva 1' (Valentin Urziceanu, Adrian Ghioc, Dan Vîtcă, Daniel Ralea).

Besides the above-mentioned tournaments, all organized by the federation , there were a number of private tournaments sponsored exclusively by private persons and organizations. This year saw some auspicious initiatives. The Dong Hai Cup, sponsored by a Chinese restaurant in Bucharest, was held in March. The top prizes were won by Ion Florescu, Cătălin Țăranu, and Lucian Deaconu. In May there were two tournaments sponsored by the company Biro Technologies: the Master and the Shodan tournaments, won by Cătălin Țăranu and Petre Oancea respectively.

Finally, another private tournament, generously sponsored by Mr. Endo Sadatsugu and Mr. Koizumi Makoto of the Japanese Embassy, is scheduled for January. 1993 was also the year that the European Go Federation nominated Romania as the host for a Grand Prix d'Europe tournament, which was held in October. Although international participation was not as high as expected, there was still a strong field of 80 players. The winner was again Cătălin Țăranu (undefeated), followed by Yuri Ledovskoi (Ukraine) with five wins and Marcel Crâșmaru with three wins.

Contact address:
Romanian Go Federation
Vasile Contra str. 16
70139 Bucharest Romania
Tel. 40-1 - 3237070/3
Fax 40-1- 2100161
President: Mihai Bîscă, tel. 40-1-6192559
Secretary: Bogdan Câmpianu
Chief instructor: Radu Baciu, tel. 40-1-6418821