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22-May: Wall Wins the Bracknell

Alistair Wall (2d Wanstead) won all his games to win the 38th Bracknell, the first time he has won the event. He beat Christian Scarff, Jim Clare and last year's winner Des Cann. Also winning all three were Eric Hall (5k Swindon) and John Cassidy (8k Belgium). Among the 26 players taking part were Be Gei's two very young daughters, playing their first game not among the family. Bournemouth won the team prize.

As usual there was the fun selection of side events set by organiser Ian Marsh. The 13x13 was easy to judge as nobody entered and the Go puzzle...

18-May: Our Team Stays Fifth at End of Season

Congratulations to the BGA team who managed a draw against a strong Polish team to keep fifth place, out of twelve, in the Pandanet Go European Team Championship B-League.

Bruno Poltronieri played board one and had to play the European pro Mateusz Surma.

Bruno writes: I lost. I felt the opening went fairly well. I generally managed to lead it towards the kind of game I am comfortable with. Unfortunately I let my nerves get the better of me and spent far too much time quite early on. I entered byoyomi around the time Surma started to attack a lone stone I had on the top side (which I probably should have defended earlier anyway). At that point I made several bad decisions and ended...

02-May: Junnan Jiang Wins Candidates'

Junnan Jiang (5d Oxford) won the Candidates' Tournament in Letchworth with a perfect six wins. Second with five wins was Bruno Poltronieri (4d Cambridge). Winning four were both players from Central London Go Club: Alex Rix (3d) and Charles Hibbert (3d). Belfast's James Hutchinson (2d) and Milton Keynes' Tim Hunt (2d) topped the group on three wins. These six can join defending champion Andrew Simons and Des Cann, who missed the Challengers' League last year for the World Amateur, in this year's Challengers' League in London at the end of May.


30-Apr: British Championship - Candidates'

The 2016 British Championship started in April 2015. All those who played in tournaments between April 2015 and March 2016 and ended with an EGF rating of 1900 or higher and obeyed the nationality and membership rules could play in the Candidates' Tournament in Lechworth from 30th April to 2nd May. 16 players so qualified started out on the first day. Results so far.

30-Apr: British Go Journal 175

British Go Journal 175, including a report on the AlphaGo v Lee Sedol match is now available online to members at

27-Apr: Our Team Gets a Fourth Win for the Season

The British team moved up to a creditable fifth postion in the B-League by scoring their fourth win of the season. The time it was against Switzerland.

In a late change Andrew Simons played John Walch (3d) on board 1. Andrew writes:

In my game against John Walch we both played slowly and carefully (I got into overtime before move 100 and him not long after), but he made a mistake right at the end which allowed me to snatch a victory from the jaws of defeat. I avoided a book opening by ignoring his 4-4 approach to approach his 3-4, we had some reasonable josekis. When I pressed his 3-4 he attached and I didn't hane as he had the ladder. He backed out of playing a complicated variation in that corner...

24-Apr: Winning Song at Welwyn

24 players attended the sixth Welwyn Garden City tournament on 23rd April, a bright spring day, at the Welwyn Garden City Bridge Centre in Gosling Sports Park. The winner was Song Han (2d), who won the deciding third round against Alistair Wall, the previous winner. Also winning all three games were Richard Mullens (6k) from London City Go club and Sergio Rubio (9k) from Spain. Francis Roads won the 13x13 side tournament and a prize for best young player went to Charlotte Bexfield from Letchworth. Some players adjourned afterwards to a local Chinese restaurant.


Photos available on...

11-Apr: The British Go Association has a new President

At the AGM on 2nd April in Sheffield, Jon Diamond retired as President after 7 years and Roger Huyshe (pictured) was elected unanimously to replace him.

Jonathan Chin and Toby Manning were re-elected as Secretary and Treasurer respectively.

Brian Brunswick also retired after 10 years as a Council member, as did Donald Campbell; John Collins, Jonathan Green, Matt Marsh and Andrew Russell were elected to Council.

It was reported at the AGM that the membership had increased in the last year to 441, the first time we'd seen an increase for a number of years. The AlphaGo match didn't seem to have a significant impact on...

06-Apr: Our Team Wins Against Italy

Congratulations to the British Go Association team who beat Italy by three games to one in the online Pandanet Go European Teams. With just two matches to play, their new sixth position (just behind Italy on third board score tie-break) is enough to keep them in the B-League for next season.

Bruno Poltronieri wrote about his win by resignation against Alessandro Pace:

Not a great game from me, but I somehow managed to pull off a win by a couple of points (if we ignore the part where he accidentally let me live in his territory while we were fighting the last 1 point ko...). My main mistake of the game was not living under his shimari before it was too late, which left him with a pretty huge territory. I...

05-Apr: Ziyi Zhang wins the British Open

The British Go Congress was held over three days the first weekend in April at the Royal Victoria Hotel in Sheffield. Andrew Kay started the event with a teaching session on Friday afternoon, followed by a well attended presentation by Lucas Baker from Google DeepMind who explained a bit about the recent successes of AlphaGo and showed us its 9 dan diploma (pictured).

In the evening, 26 players took part in the British Lightning tournament which was eventually won by Andrew Kay followed by Alison Bexfield as the runner up.

On Saturday and...

17-Mar: Aftermath

Well, THE match is now over, and we're almost back in the right time-zone, so it's time to give an interim view as to the effects on us in the UK.

Obviously our profile has risen just a little! I turned on to the BBC News on Monday towards the end and lo and behold there was an item about Go and the implications for AI, and I wasn't even surprised... If you look at our page of media mentions for the match you'll see what I mean. I haven't counted, but there must be at least 100 in the National Papers, Radio and TV. Did we appear on all channels? Well I don't think we were on Radio 3 or BBC 4...

It felt like madness at times, trying to satisfy media requests for someone to come to...

15-Mar: AlphaGo completes match 4-1 up

AlphaGo completed the match with a fourth win to Lee Sedol's one.

In a very close fifth game, AlphaGo threatened to get a very large middle that Lee Sedol had to reduce in order to win. After playing a defensive move that also attacked, AlphaGo looked like getting enough, and, despite Lee Sedol's best efforts, AlphaGo was a couple of points ahead with the komi. With just the smallest yose left, Lee Sedol resigned.

At the closing ceremony, thanks were said and plaudits given to both sides. The million dollar prize will go to various charities.


13-Mar: Alistair Wall new champion in Skye

With thirty-three players attending the fourth Isle of Skye Tournament, numbers are holding up, as did the weather.

Friday evening attracted a number of players for a 9 x 9 board league, which was won by Francis Roads (1k Wanstead).

The main tournament produced a new champion. Alistair Wall (2d Wanstead) won the bottle of Talisker whisky with 5 wins out of 6. The runner up, also with 5 wins out of 6, was Ulf Olsson (3d) visiting from Gothenburg.

Also in the prizes with 5 wins were, Edward Blockley (5k) and Greg Cox (10k Dundee). 4 wins were recorded by Stanislav Traykov, Donald Macleod, Roger Daniel, Alasdair Clarke, John Collins and John Macdonald.



13-Mar: Jitka Bartova wins in a sunny Cambridge

A total of 54 players turned up at the Cambridge University Social Club for the Trigantius Tournament on a good spring day. The main tournament was won by Jitka Bartova (3d) narrowly beating in the last round her friend Ngoc-Trang Cao (3d), both from the Leamington stable. Bruno Poltronieri (3d Cambridge) gained third place on SOS from Andrew Simons (4d Cambridge).

Apart from the winner, prizes were awarded for those on 3 wins: Jonathan Green (5k Leamington), David Crabtree (7k Manchester), Edmund Smith (8k Milton School). They also awarded encouragement prizes: best 1k Alan Thornton (St Albans), best 9k Richard Scholefield (Milton Keynes) and best 16k Wenzhou Mei (Milton School).


13-Mar: AlphaGo loses to Lee Sedol in Game 4

AlphaGo created a big central area, which Lee Sedol cleverly found a way to take apart to make the game close. AlphaGo played some strange moves when it thought it was behind, seemingly to test Lee. However these lost the machine some points and, despite being in overtime, Lee played very accurately and eventually at about 08:45 GMT AlphaGo resigned. Human and South Korean pride have thus risen!

Some more detailed commentary and pictures will be available on the GoGameGuru website.

Live streaming of the event will continue again for the final match in the 5-game series, on Tuesday at 4am GMT.

Detailed game records...

12-Mar: AlphaGo wins third game to take the match

AlphaGo played very strongly in a desperate ko fight by Lee Sedol to take AlphaGo's big territory and thus win the third game of the match.

This means AlphaGo won the match with two games left to play.

Charities will benefit from the $1,000,000 prize.

Some more detailed commentary and pictures will be available on the GoGameGuru website.

Detailed game records and updates about the match can be seen here.

10-Mar: AlphaGo makes it two in a row!

In the Google DeepMind Challenge Match, being held in Seoul from 9th-15th March, Lee Sedol lost the second game in the match, having been outclassed in some middle-game play in the centre.

Lee (playing White) was in his final period of byo-yomi after the two-hour main time, whereas AlphaGo (Black) was in its first.

The final score was a few points in Black's favour, so Lee resigned, as in the first game.

Comments from the Press Conference:

Lee Sedol: "Yesterday I was surprised by AlphaGo’s play, but today I’m quite speechless. At no time did I feel that I was leading, and I thought that AlphaGo played a near-perfect...

09-Mar: UK beats Slovakia while the world holds its breath...

Whilst the world was holding its breath waiting for the start of the Google DeepMind Challenge in Seoul there were some more prosaic games of Go being played - the latest round of the Pandanet European Go Team Championship.

The UK has got off to a poor start in the second division, but with our latest 3-1 win over second-placed Slovakia we're gradually hauling ourselves up the table.

Andrew Simons was our sole loss, not totally unexpectedly to to 1 dan pro Pavol Lisy, but our other three (Bruno Poltronieri, Alex Kent and Charlie Hibbert) all scored good wins to round off the match.

Andrew Simons said: "My game was rather like my first game of the British Championship, a disappointing loss after...

09-Mar: AlphaGo wins the first game!

In the Google DeepMind Challenge Match being held in Seoul from 9th-15th March Lee Sedol resigned after the 186th move, when he realised that he was about 7 points behind and without hope of winning.

Congratulations to the DeepMind team, although some of the non-UK members may not be so happy about the GB flag being shown for AlphaGo (Lee obviously has a Korean flag).

Aja Huang, 5 dan, was their representative playing the moves on the board against Lee, who had Black.

“#AlphaGo WINS!!!! We landed it on the moon,” tweeted DeepMind CEO Demis Hassabis after the game. “So proud of the team!! Respect to the amazing Lee Sedol too.” At a jam...

08-Mar: 24 hours and counting...

The AlphaGo v Lee Sedol match is now less than 24 hours away. Are you ready? Will you be getting up early? What are you planning for the weekend? Watch our status page here.

At the Press Conference in Seoul this morning, Alphabet (parent company of Google) executive chairman Eric Schmidt said “The winner here, no matter who wins, is humanity”.

Lee Sedol seemed very confident from the various Korean news items, although he's backtracked a little at this Press Conference, being quoted by the BBC as saying "Playing against a machine is very different from an actual human opponent. Normally, you can sense your opponent’s...

07-Mar: Gifted and talented in Manchester

On Saturday 30 children from six schools in South Manchester attended a Go workshop at Greenbank school. Martin Harvey had used his connection with Cheadle Hulme School to contact the local Educational 'Gifted and Talented' scheme, who then sponsored the day and selected the children. Martin and Helen Harvey and Roger Huyshe were kept busy throughout.

While the children were just from years 3 and 4 (and 1 Y5), their attention was good, they learned the basics in the morning starting...

22-Feb: AlphaGo v Lee Sedol match schedule announced

The following details of the match have been announced today:

The matches will be held at the Four Seasons Hotel, Seoul, starting at 1pm local time (4am GMT) on the following days:

  • Wednesday, March 9: First match
  • Thursday, March 10: Second match
  • Saturday, March 12: Third match
  • Sunday, March 13: Fourth match
  • Tuesday, March 15: Fifth match

The games will be even (no handicap), with $1 million in prize money for the winner. If AlphaGo wins, the prize money will be donated to UNICEF, STEM and Go charities. The matches will be played under Chinese rules with a komi of 7.5 (...

31-Dec: Sai Sun Wins All at London Open

The 42nd London Open was dominated by Sai Sun (5d) from Beijing who won three titles. She won the Open title and £120, with six wins out of seven, won the Lightning and also the Pair Go with Xinchi Gong. In all 76 players took part in the event, held as usual at ISH in London.

On hand to do game analysis and lectures was the professional from Romania...