Tournaments

European Championship  |  Photos (4)
Estonia, Tallinn, December 1994 (12-26 - 12-30), RIF rule

PlParticipantCountry123456789PtsCoef
1Arnis VeidemanisLatvia12 118 19 115 12 ½4 13 05 16 148.5
2Stepan PeskovRussia16 18 14 13 11 ½9 15 07 ½11 1750.5
3Igor SinyovRussia13 110 117 12 09 07 11 14 15 1750.0
4Ando MeriteeEstonia21 119 12 022 16 11 09 13 012 1647.5
5Margus TuvikeneEstonia7 ½15 025 120 111 18 12 11 03 047.5
6Andrey MishinRussia18 021 18 110 14 013 ½11 19 11 046.0
7Aldis ReimsLatvia5 ½20 012 114 115 13 017 12 ½8 ½46.0
8Oleg FedorkinRussia23 12 06 016 118 15 020 110 17 ½43.5
9Konstantin NikonovRussia22 114 11 013 13 12 04 06 021 1549.0
10Rickard JohannessonSweden25 13 019 16 024 ½15 113 ½8 016 1540.0
11Valery MatyukLatvia19 016 114 ½17 15 022 16 013 12 042.0
12Bengt AsplundSweden1 025 ½17 019 120 117 015 118 14 041.5
13Gatis GurckisLatvia3 026 118 19 022 16 ½10 ½11 014 ½38.5
14Victor AlexandrovRussia26 19 011 ½7 017 024 119 116 ½13 ½34.5
15Göran HolgerssonSweden17 ½5 120 11 07 010 012 024 118 ½443.0
16Pavel SalnikovRussia2 011 021 18 023 119 118 ½14 ½10 0441.5
17Alexander MikhailovRussia15 ½24 13 011 014 112 17 021 020 ½441.0
18Nizami EybatovAzerbaijan6 11 013 023 18 025 116 ½12 015 ½441.0
19Yelena BalanovaLatvia11 14 010 012 021 116 014 026 125 1435.0
20Victor GolosovRussia24 ½7 115 05 012 026 18 023 117 ½435.0
21Björn WallgrenSweden4 06 016 026 119 023 122 117 19 0434.5
22Anders BertilssonSweden9 023 124 14 013 011 021 025 026 1332.5
23Andrey PavinichRussia8 022 026 118 016 021 025 120 024 1330.0
24Stefan KarlssonSweden20 ½17 022 025 110 ½14 026 115 023 0330.0
25Lauri NaberEstonia10 012 ½5 024 026 118 023 022 119 032.0
26Ülle HarjuEstonia14 013 023 021 025 020 024 019 022 0032.5


The 1st European Championship took place in Tallinn, Estonia, December 26-30, 1994.
Since the European Championship was not going to be as large scale event as World Championship, it took less efforts and costs to organize the tournament. The main organizer, Ants Soosõrv used the fascilities of the Youth Center in Tallinn to carry out the First European Championship. It was very convenient especially because that building is also the center of Estonian renju, and all the people knew renju very well there. What may have made some diffrence was the season of the year. The tournament, played in cold winter may differ from the ones we used to play in summertime with comfortable weather. Anyway, players got positive emotions from that fact, because winter in Estonia is beautiful.

Speaking of the players that joined the tournament, it was surely the strongest participation in the history. There were so many strong players present, that the level of the tournament was pretty close to the World Championship finals. There were players like Aldis Reims (WC 3rd, 1991), Stefan Karlsson (WC 3rd, 1999), Igor Sinyov (WC 2nd, 1999), Stepan Peskov (WC 5th, 1995), Arnis Veidemanis (WC 9th, 1995), Ando Meritee (WC 1st, 1993), Margus Tuvikene (Youth World Champion), Oleg Fedorkin (E-mail World Champion), Pavel Salnikov (Team World Champion), Victor Alexandrov (Team World Champion), Konstantin Nikonov (Team World Champion), and many other top players with many National and International titles.
Therefore the tournament was going to be very tough and exciting. Only one of those "stars" could become an European Champion. But who? It was very hard to guess because the tournament was going to be played in Swiss System which increases the element of luck in great deal. Of course, luck itself was not enough, one had to be a good player, a really good player to win the tournament.

The World Championship players Reims and Meritee failed in this tournament. Meritee was not well prepared, and was also distracted by his work, not having a vacation from work those days. Ants Soosõrv (WC 5th, 1993) did not participate at all, being too busy with hosting the tournament. The success of Arnis Veidemanis was quite unexpected. Arnis had not shown any super good results before that tournament (except the 1st place in the USSR Team Championship and successful performance in Leningrad New Year Prize, both in 1990), and was not the candidate for top 3 among guessing people. Perhaps, not being the favorite, was one of the keys for his success. People did not notice his powerful raise until it was too late to stop him. The game between Veidemanis and Meritee in the 6th round ended with Veidemanis' victory and after that Arnis was considered as one of main challengers for the first prize. Stepan Peskov, another surpriser of the tournament had identical score with Veidemanis up to the 7th round. Since the game between them had ended with draw in the 5th round, people were watching with excitement - who will have more nerves and confidence for the last two rounds. Arnis' countrymate, Aldis Reims, stepped into the fight, and "pulled down" Peskov with a draw game, allowing Veidemanis to bring the gold medal to Latvia. Peskov got the glorious 2nd place.
The third place was not decided easily. Margus Tuvikene and Igor Sinyov were ready for the toughest game between them in the last round, because the winner of that game was going to get the 3rd place. The experience usually wins in such situations. That's what happened. Igor Sinyov won the game and ensured the 3rd place. Only half a point of coefficient separated him from the 2nd place.
Meritee, after the big failure, had to accept the 4th place, having lost 3 games out of 9. Aldis Reims, a stable player, would have probably entered the top 3 if he did not have an unlucky loss from Golosov in the 2nd round. Probably the latter was an underestimated player, and in such case the surprises may always happen. Victor Golosov, although being an outsider of the tournament at that time, has made a remarkable progress and is among top players in Russia today.
The most unlucky player was Stefan Karlsson, who was expected to get a good place with all the skill he had, but for some reason he could not find himself in the tournament and played insecurely. At that time people could not expect Stefan will be in top 3 in the World Championship 5 years later, but that is what happened. Several players grow and become stronger while others fall during years.

Ando Meritee