The 22nd European Youth Go Championships were held this year in the alpine University town of Grenoble in France, with an impressive 229 entrants.
The UK team of 10 was co-ordinated by the British Go Association (BGA), accompanied throughout by the designated UK Team Leader, Martin Harvey from Manchester, and ably assisted by parents of 6 of the children.
Kindly sponsored by DeepMind (whose logo looked great on the smart, team hoodies they provided, as in the picture), the UK team faced players from 17 European countries, from as far away as Ukraine and Russia.
The event was run in three age groups and our players were generally towards the younger end of each group.
The 2016 British Championship was decided on 19th February 2017 when the third game in the match between Junnan Jiang and Charles Hibbert was played at the Young Chelsea Bridge Club in West London. The game was relayed on KGS, with Matthew Macfadyen giving live online commentary. After a late start, the game lasted until the evening and when the counting was done Junnan Jiang had won by 20.5 points, thus becoming the new British Champion. Congratulations to him and to Charles for making it a good match.
Chi-Min Oh, the Korean 7d formerly based in Durham, won the 1st Ellie Cup in Genoble by beating Ilya Shikshin, 1p, in the final. The game was watched by more than a hundred spectators on KGS and was full of action so they were not disappointed.
The event was held alongside the European Youth Go Championship (18th-20th February).
The Winter 2016 - 2017 edition of the BGJ is now available for members to read.
The 7th round of the B-League on 7th February saw the UK playing top-of-table team Poland. Andrew Simons played his game a week early to fit in with the schedule of his opponent, the European pro Mateusz Surma. On the night the rest of the team did well, with wins for Daniel Hu and Toby Manning, meaning the UK was the first team to take a point off the leaders with a draw. Both Italy and Austria won, total 12 points each (one behind Poland), and the UK were in fourth place with 10 points.
Andrew Simons wrote: Last week I unsurprisingly lost against Mateusz Surma, the new European pro. The opening was reasonable enough, with a big wall and counter-counter-pincer joseki, and to avoid him sacrificing on a small scale I made some attachment, which he resisted, resulting in a trade that I'd seen in pro games before. I got what I thought was a vital point turn in the centre and then pushed out, rather than connecting on dame.
Alistair Wall (1d Wanstead) was the winner at this year's Cheshire Tournament, held as usual at the Community Centre in Frodsham alongside the weekend Chess tournament. This time there was a record entry of 45 Go players, helped by a large contingent from Cheadle Hulme School and the revival of Liverpool Go Club. Also players travelled from as far as London, Swindon and Cambridge for the event.
As well as Alistair, the players winning all three games were Helen Harvey (4k Manchester), Joseff Thomas (6k Central London) and, all from Cheadle Hulme School, Lily Danson and Jack Nolan (both 14k), Lizzy Pollitt (24k) and Megan Upton (27k).
Martin Harvey, as CHS school trainer, kept the youngsters amused with some teaching and also ran a 13x13 event with 16 entrants. This was won by Liverpool's Nathan Boswell (12k) with 5/5, with Andrew Russell (3k Birmingham) and Peter Allen (4k Liverpool) winning the second prizes for 3/5.
Jon Diamond writes: "I received a Facebook message on Sunday from Tony's sister saying that Tony had been found dead in his flat in Sheffield the previous day (28th January)."
"Tony was a long time Go player, who learnt in Cambridge more than 50 years ago. I last saw him last year at the British Open in Sheffield, where he’d been living for a number of years, but sadly he wasn’t playing. He had also only been to the Sheffield Club a few times recently."
"I have no other information about his death or funeral arrangements."
You can read about his career as one of our top players.
On Saturday 28th January 2017, the UK youth team completed their EYGTC season, with a close win against France by 3 boards to 2. This concluded the European Youth Go Team Championship 2016/17. Please follow that link for names of the complete UK youth team squad.
Post-match comments (see below for comments prior to the games):
Well done to the UK youth go team which won their match against France today 3-2. It was a very evenly matched set of boards on paper, so it was going to be an exciting match.
Andrew Simons won the Maidenhead-Hitachi Tournament for a second year running. The long final game, shown in the first picture, against Finland's Jesse Savo (4d) suddenly ended in overtime with an "oops" from his opponent, meaning Jesse took second place ahead of Alistair Wall.
Youngsters Roella Smith (7k Cambridge) and Leuming Yang (26k Oxford), pictured right with his prize basket ball, won all their games and Steve Bailey (7k Arundel) ended with 2.5. Both they and those on two wins went away with prizes, thanks to the generous sponsorship of Hitachi, who also provided the buffet lunch.
The UK team drew with a much stronger Netherlands team which had three 6d on it. With an all 3d UK team this was a very good result, despite ending 2-2.
Charlie Hibbert wrote: Hmm, I lost to Gilles van Eeden. I've been on a bit of a losing streak as of late. As is common when older players play black against me, I get forced into a calm game. I actually felt I was doing pretty evenly (both had lots of territory, he had more but I had potential) until I over-egged a moyo trying to catch up on cash, and my opponent exploited the weakness very well. After that I was scrubbing around trying to find something for a bit, before resigning.
Des Cann wrote: I lost by 22.5 to Peter Brouwer. I was happy with the start of the game, but it was probably balanced. The game got interesting when I felt he played too many moves capturing a corner, whilst I built a strong moyo with one of his groups in the middle of it.