The 2nd European Championship took place in St.Petersburg, Russia, December 16-20, 1995.
It had already become a tradition to organize European Championships in winter time. The winter in St.Petersburg is even colder than in Tallinn, but again, it was a special experience for all the players.
Despite the successful tournament last year, this time the European Championship did not bring together as many good players as before. Perhaps, it was too exhausted schedule for players - 4 title competitions in 2 years (two European Championships, 1994 and 1995, Team European Championship 1994, World Championship 1995), and many of them were forced to skip the tournament this time.
The following EC-1994 players were absent this time - Arnis Veidemanis (1st), Igor Sinyov (3rd), Ando Meritee (4th), Margus Tuvikene (5th), Andrey Mishin (6th), Aldis Reims (7th), Oleg Fedorkin (8th), Konstantin Nikonov (9th), and many others. There was only Stepan Peskov who was present from the top 9 players of EC-1994. It seemed as if the whole staff of players had been replaced. Of course, it was not good in the sense of traditions and strength of the tournament, but on the other hand, it gave a chance for many new players to perform well.
This tournament was played under certain relaxed feeling, there were no big emotions or pressure from games. Several players focused also on other activities besides renju in these days.
The European Championship 1995 had one good aspect - it allowed the young renju star Alexander Klimashin to make the breakthru, and make a footprint in the high class of renju world. He was surely underestimated player before the tournament, but he quickly proved that he has to be taken seriously. Since that tournament, Klimashin's name has frequently appeared in the top of many big tournaments. Likely, the European Champion title in 1995 was the best motivation for him to go on with bigger ambitions and become even stronger player.
The best one among the "relaxed" players in the tournament was Mihail Kozhin, getting the 2nd place, losing the first place only because of worse coefficient. Vladimir Semyonov surprised the world with his 3rd place in the tournament. The old veteran had lots of strength and courage to make a breakthru in important title competition. Stepan Peskov was stable, and his 4th place was quite expected. Ants Soosõrv's 7th place was perhaps disappointment for him, but it is also well known that the Swiss System tournaments are not easy ones to succeed in.
Despite being busy with hosting the tournament, the St.Petersburg players were the most successful team there - 4 of them got the places in top 6. Excellent result! It reminds the team games in front of large audience where the 'home team' is cheered by the audience, giving them extra strength to win. Congratulations to St.Petersburg players, and especially to their new champion Alexander Klimashin.
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