European Championship  |  Photos (3)  |  Games (63)
Russia, Saint Petersburg, December 1995 (12-17 - 12-21), RIF rule

1Alexandr KlimashinRussia4 05914 168 12 13 110 16�43.0.
2Mikhail KozhinRussia14 110 111 13 174 11 06 05 16�41.0.
3Vladimir SemyonovRussia6 14 17 12 010 059 11 011 15�46.0.
4Stepan PeskovRussia1 13 0108 152 012 1136 15�43.5.
5Vladimir FilinovRussia9112 17 04313 110 12 0544.0.
6Pavel SalnikovRussia3 011 014 113 111210 12 14 0538.0.
7Ants Soos�rvEstonia11 113 13 05 1210 0812 014 1536.017.25
8Bj�rn WallgrenSweden10 09 113 14 0111 0714 112 1536.015.50
9Rickard JohannessonSweden58 0110 012 113 13 011 113 1536.015.25
10Victor AlexandrovRussia8 12 049 13 17 16 05 01 04�49.0.
11Felix DegtyarBelarus7 06 12 012813 014 19 03 0338.5.
12G�ran HolgerssonSweden13 014 15 0119 064 07 18 0337.0.
13Andrey PavinichRussia12 17 08 06 014 011 05 149 02�37.5.
14Oleg YermakovBelarus2 012 06 01 013 19 011 08 07 0141.5.

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 Soos�rv'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.

Ando Meritee