European Hive Convention and Open 2024


The first European tournament was held in Budapest (Hungary) during the weekend of 8-9 June 2024. A weekend full of Hive: Saturday a whole-day tournament and Sunday morning the first official Hive Convention in Europe!

We had been waiting for this weekend for months, and we were finally there. People from all over Europe: Germany, France, Italy, Croatia, the UK, Netherlands, Hungary, all reunited in the same place, in Budapest, to play our favourite game.

Most of us have known each other for a long time through Discord or BoardGameArena, although we had never met in person. This seemed really magic to me: people becoming friends online meeting finally face to face, shaking hands, hugging and chatting as if we had always been doing this.

It was the first time instead! The first time the Hive community organised such a unique event. Despite the numerous online tournaments over the years, local Hive clubs are less common but they are steadily growing in number and size. An example is the Magyar Hive Klub in Budapest put together by László (known online as Laci5555) and Orsi, who have an incredible love for the game and the community. They have been of crucial help to Gen42 to organise such an event.

The whole Saturday was dedicated to play. The official format was adopted, a 5-round Swiss-type tournament with two games per match. 21 players fiercely competed for almost 8 hours (with a lunch break of course!) with several games being decided in Zeitnot (A chess term used to define players being short on time). To give an idea of the level of the competition, the average BGA Elo rating was 550! The strongest face-to-face Hive tournament to date. At the same time, less experienced players also said they enjoyed the competition as the atmosphere was very friendly and they learnt very much from the top players.

After 10 games, two places on the podium were taken by Hungarian players: András Csőke (online username: InDusDus) won all his games except for one draw (so he won all 5 matches) deserving the first place, and Oliver Lelkes (Csigeee) got the third place by winning 3.5 matches out of 5. The silver medal went to Francesco Salerno (Frasco) from Italy/UK with 4 matches won out of 5, losing only to the winner Csőke. The day ended with a friendly dinner all together, with everyone tired but happy about the experience!

On Sunday morning instead, the Hive Convention started and three seminars were scheduled: John Yianni, the creator of Hive, talked about the origins of the game! It was fascinating to hear how it all started and then became the game we know nowadays. Then there was Niels Robin-Aubertin, a software developer, who showed us the difficulties in creating software to play Hive. Indeed, as of today, no AI that can play Hive at the top human level! Who knows for how long this will hold true… Finally, Felix Glaser, the main developer of, showed some statistics of typical openings based on the data we have available. An informal juggling workshop was also delivered by Ion Jianu for those who wished to learn a new skill!

A final lunch altogether ended this wonderful weekend! I can't wait to do it again next year, which is incidentally also the 25th anniversary of Hive! Are you ready to join the European Hive Convention and Open 2025?

Find the pdf of the seminars here and more photos of the event below!

Find more info about the Open Tournament here and the final standings below.

Find a live streaming of the board 1 here.

Thanks to Tibor Zsirai for the amazing photos!

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