68 countries were represented at the third International Baduk Championships in Goyang city, not far from Seoul in Korea. Winner this year was 12-year old Li Chen Chien from Taiwan. He dropped a game to Korea in round 6 but got first on tie-break. Second was Sang-Hun Lee of Korea (who only lost to China) and third Wei Zhao of China (who only lost to Taiwan). On 6 wins were Chao Huang of Hong Kong, Ondrej Silt of Czechia, Thomas Hsiang of America, Raphael Shin of Australia, Frederic Donzet of France, Jia Cheng Tan of Singapore and Him Chan Lam of Macau. Japan's player, Kazumori Nagayo, lost to the top 3 players to head the group on 5 wins. UK's Francis Roads was one of the special prize winners. He beat Azerbaijan in round 1, but then lost 4 in a row due to jet lag (to Czechia, Australia, Spain and Indonesia). On the last day he beat Mexico, Bosnia and Turkey to end on 4 wins. Ireland's Terence McSweeney won 3 by beating Colombia, Chile and Mongolia. Photos
The first World Mind Sports Games got underway at the China National Conference Center in Beijing on 3rd October. The Opening Ceremony, at a large stadium, started with a parade of flags with Toby Manning carrying the Union Jack. Following the speeches, the promise and the raising of the Chinese and IMSA flags, there was an hour-long modern ballet representing an allegory of Mind Sports.
On Saturday 4th the Go events got underway at the Beijing International Conference Center with the Men's Individual. Here the players were split into groups which included two or more professionals. Matthew Macfadyen's first game was against Park Young Hun (9p) from Korea; he won his second against Matti Siivola. Piers Shepperson lost to America's Yang Huiren (1p), but beat a player from Azerbaijan. The other players in the team were Jonathan Chin, Paul Tabor and Simon Shiu.
On the second day, Sunday, Matthew won both games against Jan Hora and Jens Henker. Jonathan beat a player from Belarus, Paul a 3d from Spain and Simon a Belgian, so all had at least one win. The Women's Individual started. Sue Paterson beat Ukraine's Victoria Korsak. The other team members were Helen Harvey and Maria Tabor.
On Monday 6th the Open Individual started, which excludes professionals. Our two players, Matthew Cocke and Tony Goddard were expected to do well. In fact in the morning game all our seven men players won, as did Maria Tabor. After the morning Matthew Macfadyen was on 4/5 and was expected to play a pro in round 6 to qualify for the knockout stage. However he was paired against Jannik Rasmussen from Denmark, won, ended on 5/6, but failed to make the second stage on tie-break. This was the best result of a western-born player. Piers and Jonathan ended on 3/6; Paul and Simon on 2/6; the team scored 15/30 over all. As expected, at this stage China was already leading the WMSG medal table.
On Tuesday the knock-out stage of the Men's started with 15 professionals and a very strong Chinese player from Canada. The quarter finals contained four Chinese. 3 Korean and 1 Japanese (Yamada). The women's event and the Open continued. Some groups are very strong and an affect of the pairings was that in one group Jana Hricova from Czechia had more wins than Yukari Yoshihara (Umezawa) who is 5 dan pro!
On Wednesday the Women's group stage ended. Maria and Sue both won 3/7 and Helen won 2/7. Four Europeans ended on 5 wins: Rita Pocsai, Eliva Karlsberg, Diana Koszegi and Natalia Kovaleva. Natalia's fifth win was against the Japanese pro Mannami Kana. The qualifiers were a mix from China, Korea and Japan, but included the young teenager from Australia, Joanna Missingham, who is a Chinese pro already. The semi-finals were to be Lee of Korea v Mannami of Japan and Song of China v Park of Korea. In the men's semis Kang Dong-Yoon of Korea beat Li Zhe and Park Jung-Sang beat Wang Xi to set up an all Korean final. That was won by Kang; Li won the play-off for third. In the Individual Open, both Matt and Tony ended the day on 3/6 with one round remaining.
Neither British player won their last game: Matt lost to Pei Zhao of Germany and Tony to Juan Garcia de la Banda of Spain. Ireland's John Gibson ended on 2/7. Six different nations qualified for the knockout stage: Hu and Wang of China, Lee and Ham of Korea, Jo of North Korea, Yongfei Ge of Canada, Victor Chow of South Africa and Jie Li of USA. This last was on tie break from a group of three Europeans (Shikshin, Kachanovskiy, Zhao) and a South American (Aguilar) on 5 wins. Other Europeans on 5 wins were Sannes and Xia (both Norway), Kuin of Netherlands and Radmacher of Germany. The results of the first knock out round were much as expected, so the semi-final line up is Lee of Korea v Jo of North Korea and Ham of Korea v Wang of China. In the Women's, the semi-finals were won by Lee Min-Jin of Korea and Song Ronghui of China. China increased their lead on the medal table as Song, aged only 16, took the Gold. Korea took both Silver and Bronze as Park won the play-off for third against Mannami of Japan.
On Friday 10th it was the last of the week one events. The Individual Open semi-finals saw a win for Jo and Ham to set up a battle between North and South Korea to find which country has the strongest amateurs. The answer was that it was the North as Jo Tae-Won won the Gold. South Korea got Bronze, as well as Ham Young-Woo getting Silver, as Lee Yong-Hee won the play-off. Already the week two players of the BGA team were flying out, whilst the week one players got a chance to visit the Great Wall before returning home.
On Saturday 11th the second week kicked off with the Women's Teams. UK got into the second of two groups of 12. This looked like the weaker of the two groups as it only had two of the five strong oriental countries in it. The UK team of Vanessa Wong, Alison Bexfield and Natasha Regan won their first match against Slovakia. They also won in round 2 against Argentina so top the group alongside China and Chinese Taipei (Taiwan).
On Sunday morning the women lost to Australia and they were not expecting to beat Chinese Taipei (Taiwan) in the afternoon either. China were unbeaten in their group and Korea in the other. The British and German players had been invited to a friendship match with some local players who they beat 18-10.
On Monday 13th the remaining two Go events started: Men's Teams and Mixed Pairs. The men started with a loss, as expected, to the professionals from Chinese Taipei (Taiwan), but won the afternoon match against Portugal. Matthew Macfadyen and Kirsty Healey playing the Mixed Pairs, won their first game against the pair from Argentina, and beat Finland in the afternoon. Their next game would be against Italy. They were in the toughest of the four groups, with Korea, North Korea and Russia, and the groups are all-play-all, so they would have to work hard to get through to the knockout. The Women's Team continued their success beating France and Hungary. They were to play China in the last round and were well placed to win any tie-break for a place in the knock-out.
As expected they lost to China and got through to the last 8 along with Germany, Australia, and the oriental countries. This was an excellent result and something to be surely proud of. They drew Korea in the knockout stage and lost, as the Korean players are all stong professionals. The semi-finals were thus to be between China and Japan, and between the two Koreas. The Men's Team lost to Germany in the morning and lost to Macau in the afternoon; their score is 1/4. In the Pair Go, Matthew and Kirsty beat Italy but then had to play both Koreas which they lost; their score was then 3/5. The Pairs doing well that far included the USA on 4/5, Hungary on 3/4, Ukraine on 4/4 and Mongolia on 4/4 (plus the usual Japan, China and both Koreas).
In the Women's Teams semis the winners were Korea and China, and China went on to win the final giving them their second Gold for Go and 20 medals over all. Korea's fourth Silver took their tally to 7. Japan picked up their first medal by beating North Korea for the Bronze. In the Men's Teams Britain beat both Argentina and Belgium to reach 3/6 with one round left. The Pair Go group stage ended. China topped group 1 and go forward with second placed Czechia. Korea and North Korea qualified from group 2, in which UK's Pair of Matthew and Kirsty ended 4th with 4 wins. Group 3 qualifiers were Japan and Hungary, and group 4 was Ukraine and Mongolia. The 16 pair knockout stage also contained eight professional pairs seeded direct to that stage.
On Thursday 16th the Men's Team group stage ended. Qualifiers from group 1 were Korea (on 7/7), Chinese Taipei (6), North Korea (5) and Ukraine. From 2 they were China (7), Japan (6), Hong Kong (5) and Czechia (5). The British team lost to France to stay on 3 wins. In the quarter finals the pro teams won as expected so it will be Korea v Japan and Taipei v China in the semis. The Pair Go knockout started. All the pro teams won their first round game except for Japan's Konishi Kazuko and Imamura Toshiya who lost to the Korean qualifying pair of Kim Shin-Young and Hong Seok-Ui. In the quarter-finals the remaining qualifiers and the last Japanese went out so the semi-finals will be Taiwan v China and Korea v China.
Friday 17th was finals day in the Pairs and Men's Team and the last day of the Games. It was Korea and China, as expected, that got through to the Men's Team final, and Korea were the winners taking their second Go Gold. Japan beat Chinese Taipei to take their second Bronze. In the Pairs Taiwan's Hsieh Yi-Min and Chou Chun-Hsun got to the final to play China's Fan Weijing and Hang Yizhong. It was the Chinese who won this to take China's third Go Gold and leave them at the top of the medal table with 25 medals over all sports. Taipei's Silver was their only medal. Korea took the Bronze giving them 9 medals in total (all for Go).
The European Women's Goe Championship was held in Koblenz in Germany. 12 women from 6 countries took part. The top games were broadcast live on KGS and EuroGoTV. Unbeaten winner was Klara Zaloudkova from Czechia. Second was Manuela Marz from Germany and third was Laura Avram from Romania. UK's Anna Griffiths won 1 out of 3 to place 10th. Photos
Again the Czech event in Brno was a major in the now Pandanet Go European Cup. A huge 164 players attended. Hong Seul-Ki, the Korean from Germany, was again the winner with 6/6. Hungarian Pal Balogh ended second with 5 out of 6, the same score as Ondrej Silt from Czechia. Romanian professional Catalin Taranu topped the group on 4 wins.
The fourth European Student Go Championships was held on the Ile Saint Marguerite off of Cannes in France. 26 students from 7 countries took part in a six round McMahon. Three players ended on five. After tie-break the order was first Igor Nemly (5 dan Russia), second Jan Hora (6 dan Czechia) and third Jerome Salignon (4 dan France). Top female was again the 3 dan from Germany Manuela Marz (formerly Lindemeyer). UK's Mark Nubbert (4 kyu) ended on 4 points.
The 24th US Go Congress was held in Portland, Oregon, with another large attendance. Feng Yun won the Masters and Myungwan Kim won the Open. There was a quite large party of Brits attending: T Mark Hall was third in the 4-dan section and Steve Bailey won the 4-kyu section.
The 52nd European Go Congress was held in Leksand in the centre of Sweden. The week started sunny and the congress had a great holiday atmosphere. 667 players took part in the first week of the main tournament, including some strong Koreans as usual. Lai Yu-Cheng of Taiwan was in first place after the first five games. The Brits were doing quite well with best results in the first week to Helen Harvey and Kath Timmins on 4/5. 96 pairs took part in the Pair Go Championships. The final was won by Daniela Trinks and Lee Seung-Geun, beating Kurebayashi Meien (2 dan pro) and Marc Stoehr by a small margin. At first it was thought the others had won but the live broadcast corrected the counting error on the result. At the rather damp weekend 421 players were also playing the weekend tournament. Winner was Kim Joon-Sang from Korea. Because of the Masters only Europeans near the top were Catalin Taranu and Cornel Burzo with 3 wins. Best Brit was John Cassidy, who lives in Leuven, with 4/5. The Rapid was won for a second year running by Hong Seok-Ui. In the end 718 played in the main event. Open winner was Park Jong-Wook with 9/10. Second with 8/10 was Hong Seok-Ui. Lai was third. European Champion was Catalin Taranu for the first time. He topped the group on 7 wins by 1 sos point ahead of Dinerchtein, Shikshin and Balogh. Brits winning 6 were Paul Blockley, Kevin Cole and Martin Harvey.
Held at the weekend of the EGC in Leksnd, 8 of the top European players were playing the European Masters to determine who would play in pro events in the orient. In the first round the top Russians (Shinshin, Shikshina and Dinerchtein) lost (to Silt, Dickhut and Koulkov) and Balogh beat fellow Hungarian Mero, so it was going to be interesting who won. In round 2 the winners were Koulkov (v Balogh), Dickhut (v Silt), Dinerchtein (v Mero) and Shikshina (v Shikshin). So the final was Dickhut v Koulkov, and it was won by Franz-Josef Dickhut from Germany. Pal Balogh (beat Shikshina) and Ondrej Silt (beat Dinerchtein) were third.
Again 68 countries were taking part, held at the Nihon Kiin in Tokyo. After 2 rounds UK's Matthew Macfadyen had won both games (against Vietnam and Lithuania). Ireland's Ian Davis had lost both games. In round 3 Matthew lost to Jan Hora of Czechia and Ian got his first win against Peru. In round 4 Matthew lost to Australia and Ian to Chinese Taipei. On day 3 Matthew beat Belarus and Cuba to end the day at the bottom of the group of 4 wins. Ian got his second win, against Bulgaria, and lost to Mexico. At the top unbeaten were Sung Bong Ha of Korea and Fernando Aguilar of Argentina who has been known to beat pros in competition. In round 7 Matthew lost to the USA and beat Slovenia in the last round to end on 5 wins in 20th place. Ian lost to Lithuania but beat Azerbaijan in the last round to get 3 wins and 52nd place. Ha beat Aguilar in round 7 and hung on in round 8 to become the first Korean to win the WAGC whilst unbeaten. Second was Guo of China and third Aguilar of Argentina both on 7 wins, the best ever western result. Then on six wins were Hong Kong, Japan and Burzo of Romania , Mozheng Guan of the USA, Balogh of Hungary, Dickhut of Germany, Chinese Taipei.
The Hamburg Affensprung (Monkey Jump) was attended by 187 players; it was a major in the Pandanet Go European Cup. It was mostly Koreans who did well this year. Winner was Hong Seul-Ki with 7/7. Second was Minho Lee with 6, and on 5 were Ondrej Silt from Czechia and Lluis Oh from Spain.
Amsterdam, a Pandanet Major in the Pandanet Go European Cup, was held as usual at the European Go Centre. 107 players took part this year in the 37th edition. Winner was the Korean 7 dan from Germany, Hong Seul-Ki. Czechia's Ondrej Silt (6 dan) came second giving him the lead in the Pandanet points table. None of the UK players won more than 3.
France's Fan Hui won Madrid with 5/5. Hong Seul-Ki was second (he cannot score Pandanet points as he is Korean). 87 players took part.
The first event of the new Pandanet Go European Cup season was in Bled in Slovenia. Hungary's Pal Balogh won all six to win. Heading the group on 4 wins was Ondreij Silt. 65 players took part.
A total of 30 pairs from 15 countries took part in the European Pair Go Championships held in Cracow in the south of Poland. Winners on 6/6 were Russians Natalia Kovaleva and Dmitrij Surin. This was the third win in row for Natalia and the second for Dmitrij. Second, topping the group on 4/6, were Ondrej Silt and Jana Hricova from Czechia. Also on 4 wins were Ukraine, Romania, Netherlands and two more pairs from Czechia.
A record 359 took part in the 36th Paris Open. Fan Hui, the Chinese pro living in France, was winner on tie-break on 5/6. Second was Dai Junfu, also from France, third was Cho Seok-Bin, the Korean now in Poland, and fourth was Bao Yun from China. There was a big group on 4/6 including Chinese pro Li Ang. None of the UK players did very well but Catalin Taranu won his demonstration game series against the latest computer program. In the European Cup rankings first was Cho Seok-Bin. Second was Merlijn Kuin and Ondrei Silt was third.
20 of Europe's top players travelled to Saint Petersburg for the Ing Chang-Ki Memorial. First for a fourth year was Fan Hui (from China but living in France), this time on 5 wins having lost to Svetlana Shikshina. Second on tie-break was Alexandr Dinerchtein who only lost to Surin. The group on 4/6 was Shikshin, Shikshina, Taranu, Lazarev, Balogh and Kulkov.
This took place in Mikulov in Czechia. 101 under-18s and 58 under-12s took part. Winner with a perfect 6 was Artem Kachanovskyj (4 dan) from Ukraine. Second was Thomas Debarre (4 dan) from France, on tie-break from Javier Savolainen (Finland) and Andrij Kravec (Ukraine). Winner under-12 was Jurij Mykhaljuk (2 kyu) from Ukraine with 6 wins; second was Nikita Khabazov from Russia. Vanessa Wong, representing UK, was 13th in the Under-18.
16 representatives from several continents took part in the sixth World Student Oza Championships in Tokyo. Winner was Lee Yong-Hee, again from Korea. Another Korean, a Chinese and two of the Japanese took the next places. Best of the three European players was Martin Jurek from Czechia who won two out of four (the others were Manuela Marz from Germany (16th) and Joan Alemany from Spain (13th)).
The 19th Irish Open was held as usual in the Teachers' Club in Dublin, but this year was part of the Pandanet Go European Cup. There was a record attendance of 56, representing 11 different nations, in the Open. The 29-player Rapid handicap tournament on the Friday evening was won by Dylan Carter (1 dan) on 5/5. He beat previous winner Roman Pszonka (3 dan) into second place in an exciting last round encounter. Third was Julien Renaud (2 kyu) on tie-break from Colin MacSweeny (5 kyu) and Daniel Parschiv (1 kyu). In the Open, also with a perfect 5/5, the winner was Cho Seok-Bin (7 dan). In second place was Ondrej Silt (6 dan) on tie-break from Liang Wenzhi (1 kyu). Terence McSweeney (1 kyu) topped the group on three wins, followed by Wang Wei (5 dan), Noel Mitchell (2 dan), Lukasz Blek (1 kyu), Milan Jadron (1 kyu), Thomas Scholz (1 kyu) and Ian Davis (1 dan). Winning four games were: Edwin Brady (3 kyu), Martin Klemsa (4 kyu), Martin Harvey (5 kyu), Patrick Macek (6 kyu), Pietro Speroni (9 kyu), Richard Brennan (10 kyu) and Colin Lafferty (12 kyu). Teofil Camarasu (18 kyu) won all 5 games. Arthur Cater won the revitalised Giants Causeway event with some igneous play.
The fourth Toyota Denso European Go Oza was held at the European Go Centre like the previous editions in 2002, 2004 and 2006. 58 players took part in the qualifying stage, the best going forward to join the winners from 2006 in the grouped knockout stages. From the UK David Ward won 1 and Bei Ge 3. Terence McSweeney, representing Ireland, failed to score. In the knockout stage Bei lost to the new professional Diana Koszegi. The group finals were Dinerchtein v Janssen, Shikshin v Burzo, Pop v Van Ziejst. The three group winners (Dinerchtein, Shikshin and Pop) get to play in the World Oza in the summer. Similar events also took place in the USA and elsewhere.