Interview with Andrii Kravets 1p – “Tsinghua Weiqi Foundation Cup” 7th European Pro Championship

Dear readers,
on 20th – 23th March, the European Pro Championship took place in Hamburg, Germany. Six European professionals gathered and played a round-robin tournament for the prestigious title and some nice prize money (first place to 6th: €2,500, €1,700, €1,400, €1,200, €950, €750).

After 5 rounds, we were lucky to see more games of the professional as the tie-breakers came into play. Two more matches were played – for 1st and 3rd place. The final match was played between 🇵🇱 Mateusz Surma 3p and 🇺🇦 Andrii Kravets 1p. For the bronze medal, it was also a Poland – Ukraine clash, where 🇺🇦 Artem Kachanovskyi 2p played vs 🇵🇱 Stanisław Frejlak 1p. Artem came victorious in the battle against Stanisław and Mateusz became the champion by winning against Andrii. Congratulations to Mateusz!

Final standings:
🥇 Mateusz Surma 🇵🇱 3p
🥈 Andrii Kravets 🇺🇦 2p
🥉 Artem Kachanovskyi 🇺🇦 1p
4️⃣ Stanisław Frejlak 🇵🇱 1p
5️⃣ Tanguy Le Calve 🇫🇷 1p
6️⃣ Ali Jabarin 🇮🇱 2p

We are bringing you an interview with our main teacher, Andrii Kravets. Enjoy!

Q: Hello Andrii, Congratulations on your impressive performance at the European Professional Go Championship! How do you feel about your overall performance in the tournament?
A: Thanks. I think the result is good, even though I lost the final game. I’ve been playing a lot online recently, so I wasn’t sure if I could perform well on the real board. I lost the first game but won the second game by half a point, which gave me confidence that I can beat anyone.

Q: Can you walk us through your strategy and mindset going into the tournament? Did you encounter any unexpected challenges along the way?
A: My mindset was to see how much I’ve improved in the last half year. I played only one serious game with Fredrik Blomback in the Grand Slam, and it is kind of necessary to see how my progress. I trained endgame a lot and my goal was to finish games by counting points. It was sometimes very difficult to not cut and go crazy, but my main plan was to play calmly and finish everything in the endgame. But overall, it worked very well: I counted points in 4 games (3 wins, 1 loss), and 2 games finished earlier (with a 1-1 score). In the final game, I decided to play something new, I tried to create alive groups and gain sente a few times, but unfortunately, it didn’t work out as I expected.

Q: Winning €1700 is a significant achievement. How do you plan to use this prize money, and does it motivate you for future tournaments?
A: Money wasn’t important that much in this tournament. For me, it was good to play a lot of games with strong opponents. Nowadays, there aren’t many tournaments with such strong players. Usually, I earn more money through teaching, so money in tournaments doesn’t motivate me that much. I find motivation in improving myself and seeing how strong I can become.

Q: Looking ahead, are there any upcoming tournaments you’re particularly excited about?
A: On April 20-21, I will represent Europe in the 10th Ing Cup, a tournament for 64 players with an elimination system. The next tournament in Europe I plan to attend is the 52nd Prague Tournament, Old Hunter’s Cup. After that, I will teach at Leipzig Spring Fuseki III, followed by the Chinese league C in June and the Go Congress with Pandanet finals.

Thank you very much for the interview Andrii and good luck for the upcoming tournaments! 😀

Interview with Andrii Kravets 1p – “Tsinghua Weiqi Foundation Cup” 7th European Pro Championship
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