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18-Apr: Great UK Win Sees Promotion Likely

A great win in the eighth round - against the strong third-place team from the Netherlands - sees the UK guaranteed at least second place in the Pandanet B League. With just Sweden to go for the UK, unless there is an upset by Turkey against top team Germany in the last round, the team will be in the play-off position and will have a chance for promotion by playing a team from the bottom of the A League. This is likely to be Serbia and the team would have good chances in a best-of-five match against them. Well done to the team for playing so well.

Andrew Simons wrote: I lost against Gilles van Eeden 6d by resignation. Playing black, my opening was based on AlphaGo Master's favourite opening, but when I played the taisha...

09-Apr: British Go Congress Held in Bristol

The 51st British Go Congress was held in Bristol and the very modern Future Inns Hotel, just across from the Cabot Circus shopping centre in the middle of the city.

It started on the Friday with a teaching session and then the British Open Lightning. This was won by Alex Kent (3d); he beat the previous winner, Xunrui Zhao (3d) from London, into second place.

However in the British Open, played as usual on the Saturday and Sunday, it was Xunrui Zhao who was the winner, scoring victories in all six games. In second place was Jon Diamond (3d) and third was Sandy Taylor (2d) from the local club. Winning five games were Richard Bentley (3k Durham), Ai Guan (6k) and Chun Yin Wong (10k), both from Lancaster Club. The top...

02-Apr: European Youth Go Congress, Kiev, Part 4

Final day (day 3) of Kiev Tournament (continued from part 3).

Whilst today may have been only marginally positive, with 10.5 wins to 9.5 losses, we are delighted to finish up, by 26 wins to 23 defeats - a good improvement on last year's EYGC in Grenoble. Considering the still very young squad, we can be very happy, as the bulk of the team will be young enough to play in their current age groups for quite some years yet. All our players won at least two games out of six. This includes our joint-youngest player Edmund...

01-Apr: European Youth Go Congress, Kiev, Part 3

Day 2 (of 3) of Kiev Tournament (continued from part 2)

In the morning, we played Round 3 of six. The spoils went to our five U20 (under age 20) players, as four won, and the loser was playing against one of our own! So we have nobody now on 100%, meaning of course that virtually all our players are correctly graded.

It is important to play in tournaments frequently enough to stay 'well-calibrated', and inter-country games help countries' grades align around a common European 'norm'. We also have five players in the U20 group (but...

30-Mar: European Youth Go Congress, Kiev, Part 2

Day 1 (of 3) of Kiev Tournament (continued from part 1)

The remaining three squad members and their three mothers arrived safely on Wednesday afternoon, on the eve of the main tournament. We all went to a pizza restaurant, for some squad players to get to know newcomers.

On Thursday 29th, the tournament kicked off with an elaborate opening ceremony. This featured firstly a long and colourful Chinese dragon, then a superb circus troupe of youngsters. There were gymnasts, trapeze artists and girls climbing up silk ropes,...

27-Mar: European Youth Go Congress, Kiev

The first part of the UK Youth Go team - kindly sponsored by DeepMind - has arrived in Kiev, Ukraine for the 225-strong annual European Youth Go Congress; the remaining members joining us on Wednesday. Everyone is looking forward to the main event: two games per day on Thursday, Friday and Saturday.

The team has been getting used to mounds of snow (it's still freezing overnight), signs mostly in cyrillic, plus Ukrainian and Russian words.

On Monday Natasha, a Kiev resident and part-organiser of the tournament, took us on a tour of the wonderful, quaint and deep metro; we climbed the bell tower at St. Sophia's monastery and ate near the Maidan square.

That afternnoon we joined 40 Ukrainian children for a Go...

14-Mar: Norway Draw Sees UK Slip to Second

In the seventh round of the European B-League, UK were matched against Norway placed fourth. With a staggered start time the match lasted from 19:00 to nearly 23:00 UK time. The match ended a draw with Andrew and Chris winning on the top boards, but Des and Jon losing on the other two. This left the UK in second place with 12 points, as Germany beat Denmark to go clear top with 13 points. Netherlands drew with Austria to stay third on 11 points. With just Netherlands and Sweden to go the UK team are still hopeful of promotion.

Andrew Simons wrote: I won my game against Jostein Flood.

I was black and started off with the AlphaGo (and 19th century) idea that approaching both his 3-4 points to prevent shimaris and...

13-Mar: Trigantius

The 42nd Trigantius took place in a spring-like Cambridge, again held at the University Social Club in Mill Lane. A recent record of 56 players (including two ghosts) meant the event got off to a late start. In addition in the afternoon there were 28 players in Paul Smith's Novices Tournament making it even more popular (though more crowded). This number included four adults and a large group of pupils from Harpenden Academy.

The main tournament saw the return of Sam Aitken (3d) who won all three, including a win secured against Andrew Simons (4d Cambridge), to become this year's holder of the Trigantius Trophy.
Other players on three wins were Alison Bexfield (1k Letchworth), Matthew Reid (1k Cambridge) and Sebastian...

06-Mar: Rab Fulton wins in Skye

Skye had beautiful weather while the rest of the northern Europe got snowed under. As a result just 19 of the 33 who'd registered for the fifth Isle of Skye Go Tournament got through. Juliusz "Julko" Pruszynski tried to travel from Lodz to Skye by bus but only got as far as London; he was sorely missed.

Either Edwin Brady or Donald MacLeod were to have done the draw but both were snowed in. Nick Wedd started writing names and drawing lines on index cards but John Collins turned out to have the program on his laptop and did sterling service in spite of computer...

04-Mar: Eric retains South Manchester title

Freezing national temperatures nonetheless, this year saw the South Manchester day retain its attendance from last year's inaugural day. Cheadle Hulme School (CHS) again kindly allowed use of their fine premises and, as in 2017, two events (Main and Fast) were held at the same time. The Main event, run by Chris Kirkham, attracted 20 players, while the Fast (run by Helen Harvey) featured 13 players. CHS was represented by 13 of its students (better than last year), while the Head of Physics,...

03-Mar: Snow Almost Defeats Irish Open

The worst snow in Ireland for 36 years struck during the week leading up to the Irish Open weekend. Helped on by Storm Emma, snow drifts stopped all public transport and flights for about two days and many of the 49 possible entrants were unable to arrive. The Irish Rapidplay, scheduled for the Friday evening, was cancelled and the Confucius Cup (Irish Open) was cut from a five-round European Grand Prix event with 1000 euro prize to a three round rapid play event all on the Saturday afternoon. It was held as in recent years in a top hotel, The Gresham Hotel, on...

26-Feb: Jonathan Green Wins First Notts Kyu Event

29 players enjoyed teaching and a rapid tournament at the Dice Cup board game cafe in the centre of Nottingham for the first Kyu Player Teaching and mini-tournament. Teaching in the morning was given in three ability groups, by Chris Bryant (Sheffield), Toby Manning (Leicester) and Alison Bexfield (Letchworth); it was very much appreciated.

A 3 round McMahon tournament was held in the afternoon, with only 30 minutes per player and no overtime, which caught out a few (including one of the organisers!). Winning the tournament was Jonathan Green (4k...

23-Feb: London Go Centre Opens

The new London Go Centre was launched on the weekend of 17th and 18th February with an event that featured teaching, a tournament and more.

The previous London Go Centre was in Lambolle Place in London's NW3 between 1975 and 1978, when it closed as it was not financially viable. It had long been a dream of several London players to have a centre again, and when T Mark Hall left his estate to fulfill this aim a rebirth seemed a possibility. Various options were investigated by the trust set up in his name. These included acquiring a building for use as a Mind Sports Centre in...

21-Feb: UK Stay Top of B-League

The sixth round of the B-League on 20th February saw the UK playing and beating Austria, to stay at the top of the B-League.

Daniel Hu wrote about his game against Viktor Lin: I lost by resignation. I played quite calmly in the opening, aiming for a long game. He had an interesting tesuji to settle the top right, and it worked well with his thickness from attacking my weak group. It was probably proper for me to make two eyes with my weak group earlier on, but he ambitiously fought in my area of influence. I got an extremely good result and he lost most of his territory on the right, while his centre group was still hanging. Probably I played too slowly as usual and soon entered overtime.

He then came to attack...

19-Feb: UK Youth Team lose to Romania

On Saturday 27th January 2018, the UK youth team played their third match, against Romania. The latter were 'on a roll', having won 5-0 in their previous match. We also lost by 0 boards to 5. This was in the European Youth Go Team Championship 2017/18 (EYGTC). Please follow that link for names of the complete UK youth team squad.

After two rounds, the UK were sitting in fifth place out of 12 teams, and so faced a strong team in the third round.
Some of our strongest players were not available but, even if they had been, it would have been an uphill battle to defeat Romania.

Charlotte Bexfield, Josh Gorman and Wenzhou Mei fought hard on boards 1-3, against...

19-Feb: UK Youth Team narrowly lose to Hungary

Starting on Saturday 10th February 2018, the UK youth team played their fourth (& final) match, against Hungary. We lost by 2 boards to 3. This was in the European Youth Go Team Championship 2017/18 (EYGTC). Please follow that link for details of all countries' youth team squads.
So, the final Top 3 countries this year are as follows. Winners = Russia; Second = Germany;
Third = Romania.

Due to a clash with the Hungarian Youth Championship, we were unable to play at the defined time, and the games were spread individually over a week - something that detracts somewhat from the team nature of the event but seemed unavoidable this time.

Our team...

04-Feb: Yangran Zhang Wins Record Cheshire

Yangran Zhang (3d Manchester), seen seated on the left, won the 20th Cheshire Tournament. A record 46 players took part, thanks to a large group from Cheadle Hulme School, as well as players from Liverpool, Manchester and other local clubs.

Yangran beat Gong Cheng, Mark Zhang and Alistair Wall to take the title.

Also winning three games were Ai Guan (7k Lancaster), Chun Yin Wong (11k Lancaster), Andrew Boyd (13k Liverpool), Gordon Hall (20k Whaley Bridge) and Elliott Barlow (30k CHS).

Hugo Ryan (35k CHS) won the Fighting Spirit prize, Ben Howe (27k...

01-Feb: BGJ 182 Now Available in Members Area

The Winter 2017-2018 edition of the BGJ is now available for members to read.

24-Jan: UK Return to Top After Finland Victory

The fifth round of the B-League on 23rd January saw the UK playing Finland. Yet again our team did extremely well, winning the match 4-0. As top placed team Netherlands lost to Germany 3-1, the UK team returned to the top spot, on boards-won tie break from Germany (18-16); Netherlands dropped to third.

Bruno Poltronieri wrote about his game against Javier-Aleksi Savolainen: I won by resignation. Not much happened until I decided to start poking at his floating group in the top right which seemed a bit over extended. I started with a peep, which he didn't really answer, so I was able to cut off a chunk of the group and kill it. In exchange he got a ponnuki in the centre, but since I had strong centre stones nearby it wasn'...

20-Jan: Tim Hunt Wins at Maidenhead

Tim Hunt, 2d Milton Keynes, led his team to victory in the 27th Maidenhead Tournament. He beat Jim Clare in the final to win the tournament and he led the winning Milton Keynes team in the team competition. All players on three wins got an envelope and the choice of a game or a bottle, and those on two wins got a choice of one out of the three. The prizes, the great location and the free buffet lunch are all thanks to long term event sponsor Hitachi Europe. However rumours that Brexit is making the company consider moving to Europe proper mean this might be the last such event.

Those on three wins were Geoff Kaniuk (5k Cambridge), Joel Barrett (6k Manchester) and Robert Scantlebury (8k Sheffield). The 13x13 side event prize was...

12-Jan: UK Youth Easter trip to Ukraine

The 24th annual European Youth Go Championship (EYGC) will be held in Kiev, the Ukrainian capital, during the 2018 Easter holidays. This is the biggest youth competition in Europe, and there are already over 100 youngsters registered, from 8 countries, as at 21st January. There are three age groups: Under-12, Under-16 and Under-20. The BGA has arranged for a group of UK juniors to attend, with the support of DeepMind.

The UK party is 16-strong, as at 21st January - all with flights booked (also accommodation - in one hotel where our own evening 'UK team room' is available). Entry to the competition - and the UK group - is still open, however. The upper age cut-offs for U12 and U16 will be...

31-Dec: Chinese Dominate at London Open

Of the 94 players from the UK and abroad that played in the 2017 London Open it was the large group of Chinese players currently living in the UK that dominated the event, but also there were two Belgian players in the top 5, Lucas Neirynck in third with 5 wins and Thomas Connor in fifth with 4 wins. The UK's top player, hence winning the David Ward Trophy, was Daniel Hu in fourth place with 4 wins also. In the end it was Weijin Chen who ended unbeaten with seven wins who took the trophy and top cash prize. Second place went to Ho Yeung Woo who only lost in round four to Chen. Chen is...