Correction: In a previous version of this article Hungary was missing from the participants of the European Team Championship. This has been corrected. Apologies!

The Omikron European Go Congress 2017 has finally begun! Hundreds of people from all over the world had been pouring in to the Treff Hotel Panorama in Oberhof on Saturday, busy registering and getting to know their surroundings while organisers were rushing to and fro, trying to make last minute adjustments.

During this frantic time however, the top Go players from Hungary, Romania, Russia and Ukraine were deciding the first major tournament of the event: the European Team Go Championship! As is tradition, the first two days of any congress is devoted to this EGF tournament finale. At the end of the day, Russia emerged victorious, taking the title from the former Team Champion Ukraine. Congratulations to Ilya Shikshin, Alexandr Dinerchtein, Grigoriy Fionin, Dmitriy Surin, Timur Sankin and all the others who played in the online qualifications!

They were honoured later that evening in one of the most remarkable opening ceremonies in recent memory: this congress had an especially tumultuous planning phase. Manja Marz, main organiser and host of the Opening Ceremony, with the help of the Presidents of the Russian Go Federation Maxim Volkov and the Turkish Go Players’ Association Kerem Karaerkek, had planned something special. They explained the intricate politics of European Go bureaucracy the only way they knew how – a slapstick fight on stage with people tugging and pulling on a symbolic EGC goban à la Buster Keaton! And in the end everybody was laughing and hugging each other!

Hopefully a good sign for a friendly and easygoing congress full of fun. Enjoy!