Unfortunate Lukas Podpera lost the final of the "pro" qualification tournament for the 3rd time in a row. Jan Simara becomes 1-p

All European amateur players 6-dan or stronger (but the Russian ones) were invited by the EGF to the 7th European pro qualification tournament, whose winner would become the 9th European-made professional.

Among the (only) 8 participating players (there were 9 positive answers), Lukas Podpera (7-d, CZ), the best ranked European amateur, was the big favorite, especially in absence of any Russian candidates.

He had lost the final of the 2 previous editions:
in 2019 against Tanguy Le Calvé: https://www.eurogofed.org/proqualification/index_2019.html
and in 2021 against Stanislaw Frejlak: https://www.eurogofed.org/proqualification/index_2021.html

And, against all odds, he faced exactly the same cruel destiny in this year edition !
he lost the final (1-2) to his countryfellow Jan Simara (6-d) (he lost the 3rd - and deciding - game by...1,5 point).

Jan Simara is certainly very strong (he has been European champion in 2012), but undoubtely weaker than Lukas. Nevertheless, Jan fully deserves to become the 9th European-made professional ! Congratulations to him !

More info: https://www.eurogofed.org/proqualification/index_2023.html