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10-Jun: Joanne and Bruno Make it a Double

The 38th British Pair Go Championship was held at its now regular venue, the Red Lion in Hatfield. As well as serving lunches and drinks, this has a garden to sit in (when it is not raining), is very close to the railway station and has some nearby shops (including that Hertfordshire delight, a Simmons bakery).

Some of the stronger pairs could not play this time; for instance Natasha Regan was lecturing on Go at the Cheltenham Science Festival. However, thanks to the minibus from Cheadle Hulme School (CHS) there were still 15 pairs, many including youngsters. Also...

05-Jun: China Wins WAGC

Wang Chen of China won the 40th World Amateur Championship in Matsue City, Shimane Prefecture, Japan. Second, with just a loss to the winner, was Lee Jaesung of Korea. The group on six wins was: Hong Kong, USA, Pal Balogh of Hungary, Canada and Dmytro Bogatskyy of Ukraine. The other places went to the best on five: Japan, Singapore and Indonesia.

The UK Rep, Andrew Kay, was 27th out of 59 with four wins. With three wins on the first two days, day three didn't go so well with losses to Pal Balogh of Hungary and Timotej Suc of Slovenia. On the final day he lost to Jan Simara of Czechia, but beat Ioan Grigoriu of Romania.

Noel Mitchell for Ireland also won four in 36th place. On the last two days he had wins against...

03-Jun: WAGC Under Way

The World Amateur is underway in Japan, in Matsue City, Shimane Prefecture. The opening ceremony on 1st June featured a drama of the slaying of the local eight-headed dragon and the city encouraging players to visit the castle and the large local lake. Play got underway the next day with the usual Asian and other strong countries winning two; after two days Korea, China, Japan and Hong Kong were the ones on four.

The UK representative, Andrew Kay, lost as expected to the Korean player, but then won his next three against Lloyd Rubidge of South Africa, Martin Li of Sweden and Stjepan Mestrovic of Croatia. This put him 13th of 59 with two days left to play.

Noel Mitchell for Ireland lost to Pal Balogh of Hungary, Carl...

28-May: Two Andrews to Play Title Match

The Challengers' League, the second stage of the British Championship, took place over four days this Bank Holiday weekend at the London Go Centre. The event was held alongside the Not The London Open Tournament and the players were able to take advantage of having Antti Tormanen (1p) present to review games.

Last year's champion, Sam Aitken, decided not to defend his title, which meant that there were places for seven qualifiers from Candidates' Tournament plus the runner-up from last year, Andrew Simons. Unfortunately some of the top...

28-May: Annti Tormanen 1p at Not the London Open

The Second Not The London Open took place over the second May Bank Holiday weekend at the London Go Centre. At 21, we had a slightly bigger entry than last year, reported organiser Gerry Gavigan, but we've still got a long way to go before we reach the size of its progenitor the London Open Go Congress. However in its own terms the tournament was successful. A nice feature of the weekend was the five or six people who just dropped in watch and enjoy the event, such as Bruno Poltronieri and Martha McGill. Antti Tormanen (1p) was the professional (thanks to the Nihon Ki-in); he...

27-May: Peikai Xue wins a Swiss Scottish Open

This time the Scottish Open moved back to the weekend at the end of May and to a first time venue at Columbkille’s Church Hall in Rutherglen, just east of Glasgow. Unfortunately there was a drop in numbers attending, with just 15 players taking part at some point. So the decision was made to make the event a Swiss System event, with handicaps less one; everyone playing all rounds had a chance of winning.

In the end it was the two dan players and a 7k who ended on five wins. Peikai Xue (2d London) was the winner of the title on SOS tie-break (shown right...

20-May: Relaunched Oxford Tournament a Success

After a six year gap the Oxford Tournament was relaunched and successfully attracted 57 players. The previous Oxford event had 92 players, but that included a team playing a varsity match and attendances were generally higher in 2013. This time a new venue was used, Oxford Deaf and Hard of Hearing Centre. This former meeting hall, converted into a community centre including a chapel and various side rooms, is conveniently near the centre of the city, tucked in behind Pembroke College and the new shopping centre.

Best of the players was Chao Zhang (6d London) who won all three games, including beating Romania's Alexandru-Petre Pitrop (4d), America's Hugh Zhang (6d) and Cheng Gong (3d London City). Hugh was rewarded with the...

13-May: LGC Hosts Kyu Players Weekend

The Kyu Players Weekend, held at the London Go Centre over the first May Bank Holiday, started with a teaching day on the Saturday. Teachers were former professional Chao Zhang (6d), former British Champion Daniel Hu (4d), Charles Hibbert (3d), Joanne Leung (2d) and Jonathan Turner (2k) - shown bottom left - who variously led small groups in analysis, discussion and simultaneous playing sessions. The lectures were videoed and may be found on the LGC YouTube channel. It was good to see some very...

13-May: Local Teacher from Japan Wins Nottingham

About 30 players enjoyed the 2nd Nottingham kyu training day and rapid tournament. It was held, as in 2018, in The Dice Cup board game cafe, near the city's Victoria Centre. The number of players was boosted by a minibus of students from Cheadle Hulme School (CHS), accompanied by Martin and Helen Harvey, and physics teacher Mike Winslow.

In the morning the teaching was given by Andrew Kay, Sandy Taylor, Martin Harvey, Robin Dews, Carl Roll and Tetsuro Yoshitake, a student from Japan, studying at the University of Nottingham.

In the afternoon there was a three-round rapid-play tournament, with 30 minutes per player, sudden death. The winner was Tetsuro Yoshitake (3d Nottingham), who won all three games including that...

13-May: May Youth Newsletter Published

The latest edition of Youth Go News has been published, No. 5 May 2019.

If you missed any, then old editions are available.

Please tell any young players you know about it.

08-May: Andrew Kay Wins Candidates'

Fifteen players gathered in the small Hertfordshire town of Letchworth, more formally known as Letchworth Garden City, to play in this year's Candidates' Tournament, the first round of the British Championship. It was held at the community hall called "The Settlement" and we are grateful to Simon and Alison Bexfield who arranged the venue and also acted as ghosts. Our thanks also go to Matt Marsh for running the Tournament.

As usual the event had six rounds over three days of the first May Bank Holiday, run on the Swiss system. With six players to qualify for the Challenger's League, four wins would almost certainly ensure qualification, while with three wins one would need to do well on the tie-break to qualify.


08-May: UK Draw with Turkey Avoids Relegation

In the last match of the season, our team had trouble against a lower-graded team from Turkey. They lost board one and two to draw the match. However the match point scored kept the team above the relegation zone and their final position in the B-League was 7th.

Andrew Simons wrote: Annoying loss for me against Hakki Burak Güner. The opening and early middle game went well. However the h4 “timesuji” blunder should have been at r13. He ignored this and attacked well; I helped him kill me. Then I messed up some more.

Alex Kent wrote: I lost by resignation to Ugur Arikan. My game was a bit disappointing - credit to my opponent as he didn't seem to make any real mistakes! The opening contained three 3-3 joseki...

20-Apr: BGJ 187 Now Available in Members Area

The Spring 2019 edition of the BGJ is now available for members to read.

18-Apr: UK Beaten by Sweden

Our team played was outplayed by a strong team from Sweden, losing all four games. This leaves the team still in seventh place in the B-League, but only on tie-break. The final match of the season will be on Tuesday 5th May, against Turkey.

Alex Kent wrote: I lost by resignation against Fredrik Blomback. The opening did not go well: I went wrong in a "windmill" joseki in the upper-left. I ended up needing to live small while my opponent got a wall. Definitely one I need to investigate! Early in the middle game I started playing more aggressively to try and catch up, but this backfired dramatically and I barely survived. Later on things got a little exciting and I tried a few tricks but to no avail.


08-Apr: British Go Congress Held in Manchester

Each year the British Go Congress is held in a different place, with the BGA's Annual General Meeting on the Saturday evening. The 2019 edition was held in the MacDonald Hotel on Manchester's London Road, not far from Piccadilly Station. The weekend started with a teaching session on Friday afternoon with Toby Manning. That evening the British Open Lightning was held; it was won by London's Peikai Xue (2d), shown below left with the trophy.

On the Saturday and Sunday 80 players, many of whom were below 10k, enjoyed the usual six round British Open tournament. It was for the...

01-Apr: Irish Open Runs Smoothly

After the troubles caused by the snow at last year’s Irish Go Congress, this year it was played under clear skies and ran extremely well. The Confucius Institute was not supporting the event and so the venue reverted to the tradition one, The Teachers’ Club on Parnell Square. Over the weekend 42 players, including visitors from seven countries, took part in the Go.

This started with the 18-player Irish Rapid on the evening of Friday 22nd March. As usual the rounds speeded up from twenty to twelve minutes and the number and size of handicap gaps reduced as the strong players started to dominate. Tunyang Xie (4d) from Cambridge won all five games to take the title. London’s Xunrui Zhao (3d) and Trondheim’s Juan-Manuel Losada (1d)...

25-Mar: First Harpenden Won by Chao Zhang

When the Welwyn Garden City Tournament found that the sports centre housing their Bridge Club venue was closing, the organiser, John Collins, had to move the event to the Sunday and to the new venue of the Harpenden Arms, in the High Street of the nearby town. This is also the venue of the new Harpenden Go Club, so it was in fact a good way to promote that too.

It was a bright sunny spring morning, good for travelling by road, but unfortunately a power failure on the railway meant no Thameslink trains at all from London that morning....

20-Mar: Norway Beaten Four-Nil

Our team played very well and got their first win of the season, against Norway. This moved the team up to seventh place and out of the relegation zone. The next match will be on Tuesday 16th April, against Sweden.

Andrew Simons wrote: I won my game against Severin Hanevik after more than three hours of play and 331 moves including passes. I played an AI-style early 3-3 and then was happy he gave me the thick old joseki in bottom left even though he got sente. He surprised me when he resisted my attachment and took the outside ponnuki, and again when he didn't connect up to the corner; LeelaZero says he should have done so immediately and I should have prevented that instead of my solid tiger mouth. Nevertheless I had a...