This is a freely edited public domain summary of the Finnish go life. Thank you for the original contributors and for the future update editors. -- Vesa 6.10.2006

Last edited: 17th Dec 2014

1. Go Population in Finland#

It is not easy to estimate the number of players that do not participate actively in tournaments, but a good estimate of the Finnish go population might be around 1000 players. There are 787 players with sort of an active ranking as of 17th Dec 2014.

2. Active members (paid members)#

In 2014, the Finnish Go Association had 115 paid up members.

3. Go clubs#

There are 20 more or less official clubs in Finland. The clubs organize one or two club evenings a week and sometimes tournaments too. There are also players living in cities without an official go club. Some meet to play in small numbers while others rely on Internet go servers.

Are you visiting Finland and wondering where Finns play? The page Peli-illat lists all the steady going club nights by day and city. Most if not all are open and welcome foreign players with enthusiasm. Please consider visiting at least one of them! kahvila = cafe, ravintola = restaurant

4. Strongest players#

Top players by rank (according to the current ranking list) as of 17th Dec, 2014:

  • TÖRMÄNEN Antti 1 dan pro. Finnish Champion 2008, 2010 and 2012, winner of several international tournaments, admitted to study as an insei in 2011 and 2014, qualified as professional in 2015.
  • KURONEN, Juri 6 dan. Finnish Champion 2014 and 2017.
  • LAATIKAINEN Vesa 5 dan. Several times Finnish Champion, Nordic Champion and Finnish Kisei.
  • NYYSSÖNEN, Juuso 5 dan. Finnish Champion 2013 and 2018.
  • SAVOLAINEN, Javier-Aleksi 5 dan. Nordic Championship 2019.
  • SIIVOLA Matti 5 dan. Several times Finnish Champion, Nordic Champion and Finnish Kisei.
  • several 4 dan players.

5. Competitions and the ranking system#

Ranking system is in Japanese style: from 30 kyu to 1 kyu and then from 1 dan to higher dan levels. On higher kyu levels the rankings are not controlled. On lower kyu ranks, the rankings are not restricted, and clubs are responsible for the ranks of their members. Higher ranks are granted by strong players or specially appointed club members who have ranking rights; a promotion to 7 kyu or better requires support from (a) higher ranked player(s), increasingly so as the level increases. Reaching dan levels requires consistent results in tournaments.

6. Education and promotion#

Go education and promotion have only been on volunteer basis because of lack of funds. The game has become popular thanks to the Internet, some (but rare) media coverage and (arguably) the anime / manga "Hikaru no Go". New players often try to teach the game to their friends, and some times it even works. Local clubs organize beginners' courses now and then. Many of the new players are university students, and student clubs are among the biggest clubs.

7. Finnish Go Association#

The board of the Finnish Go Association consists of a president, a secretary, a treasurer, a vice president, and other members of the board, numbering no more than 10 altogether. The association is a member of both the European (EGF) and International (IGF) go federations. In addition to acting as an umbrella organization for Finnish Go clubs, the association also coordinates the most important Finnish tournaments: the Finnish Championship tournament series, the Korean Ambassador's Cup and the locally less frequent Nordic Championships.

8. Go history in Finland.#

Our first club, the Helsinki go club was founded in 1979. Ten players participated in the first Finnish championship played in 1981. The Finnish Go Association was founded in 1987. Other clubs began appearing during these years.

Through the 90's, the number of players slowly increased. The Finnish Championships were growing so large that they finally needed a separate qualification tournament. More significant increase in player numbers started around 2000. For example in 2004, over 200 players participated in tournaments.

9. Finnish Go Magazines#

Fifteen editions of Sente magazine were published during 1986 - 2000. The author of Sente, Vesa Laatikainen, has since published more go essays on the Internet. There is also the Nordic Go magazine (Nordisk GoBlad), which is published on the Internet.

10. Go tournaments in Finland#

About 15 national or international level tournaments are organized regularly every year. In addition, many clubs have held local championship tournaments or ranking tournaments, with casual local tournaments taking up most of the intervening weekends. Nearly all the tournaments are open for foreign participants too.


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