The UK youth team narrowly lost to Serbia yesterday 2-3. This was the first of the 3 rounds in 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):
As expected, Zaki and Josh - playing on the two U16 boards - cruised to easy victories, with both clearly outranking their opponents. We needed to win on one of the other three boards.
Given the strengths of the opposing team on these boards, I had picked players from our team who would have a good evenly-matched game, rather than field our U12 7 kyu against a 16 kyu, in what would be a one-sided game.
The second game of the 2016 British Go Championship best-of-three title match was played on Saturday 3rd December, at the Young Chelsea Bridge Club in West London. With Charles Hibbert one game up, Junnan Jiang had to win to stay in the match.
The game was relayed on OGS, thanks to Jonathan Green, but the start was nearly an hour later than its 11:00 advertised start. It was also video streamed. The game continued after a shorter than usual lunch break (the time limits are three hours each), and got into a very exciting fight. Despite Junnan being in overtime he kept a clear head and forced the resignation at about 17:30
This tied the match and the third game would have to be arranged.
This year the BGA decided to hold the British Youth Go Championship at the exciting location of The National Space Centre in Leicester. Previously used as the venue of the East Midlands Tournament, the conference rooms made a very comfortable venue for the 43 young players, aged from 5 to 17, grades 2d to 37k, and their adult helpers. There was a long lunch break so there was a chance to view the exhibition, however the promised free tickets did not materialise.
The players battled over five rounds to decide the winners in each age category and in the team competitions, as well as the overall winner. This was all kept together by tournament director Tony Atkins using the Smudgy draw system (invented by Simon Goss).
The annual Coventry Tournament remained at its usual venue of the Science Concourse of the University of Warwick, but a new team of students was in charge. The club president, Sylvester Cardorelle, said that the tournament was a success and he had a great time organising it alongside his team: Rajiv Daxini (Secretary) and Shuwen Kang (Treasurer).
Proving himself to be the best of the 30 players was Philip Leung (3d) from the local club, who previously won the event in 2014, and second was Sam Aitken (4d) who only lost to the winner in round two. Michael Kyle (8k) from Manchester was the only other player to win all three games.
Due to late arrangement, an unfortunate clash with the Coventry tournament and general timing for many players, attendance was particularly low, resulting in just two teams of three at this year's (autumn) edition of the London International Teams. Nonetheless it was an interesting, close run event, held at the Young Chelsea Bridge Club at Goldhawk Road.
The highlight for organiser Jonathan Turner was a nameless player's tragi-comic oversight that a group was dead from late mid-game right up to counting, resulting in a rather surprised look as their opponent started removing the stones.
It looked like the UK had beaten Croatia 4-0 in their fourth round fixture, but it ended up 3-1 moving the UK back near the top of the B-League.
Andrew Simons wrote: I stood in for Bruno against Zoran Mutabžija (who was European Champion many decades ago but playing at 2d now) and won by a comfy 27.5 in the end, although there were a few nervous moments. He started with a diagonal opening and in a pincer counter-pincer running fight I spent a long time reading out a press expecting him to push and cut but he just crawled on the third line! Then he made some bizarre attach and crosscut sacrificing his pincer group and I got thick but then played two perhaps slow moves and he developed quickly on the rest of the board.
The Three Peaks returned to Ingleton, near to where it started at the Marton Arms. The venue this time was the Wheatsheaf in the High Street, with its own B+B rooms, but still the beautiful Yorkshire countryside was not far away.
There were thirty players taking part this time, with Eric Yangran Zhang (4d Manchester) winning the event by winning all his games. He is shown receiving the Goban trophy from organiser Bob Bagot. Other prize-winners with 4 out of 5 were James Richards (3k Edinburgh), Bob Scantlebury (8k Sheffield), Ai Guan (8k Lancaster), Alan Stokes (10k Manchester) and Pat Ridley (11k Chester). The Team Prize was won by Chester's Pat Ridley, Tony Pitchford and Dave Horan.
The results were delayed in publication because of a computer problem.
British Go Journal 177, including a report on the European Go Congress and the first British Championship game record, is now available online to members at http://www.britgo.org/bgj/bgj177
The UK team lost their round three match in the Pandanet B League by losing to Denmark 1-3.
Andrew Simons was on board one against Uffe Rasmussen. He wrote:
I lost in a spectacularly stupid way. The game started with a reasonable fuseki, but when he extended high on the top side, I didn't feel like making a shimari, so invaded. He played an inappropriate pretty shape move in the resulting fight, but, as I had the ladder to the left, I captured a stone for a good result. His ladder breaker wasn't so amazing and I played a pleasant honte to net the ladder stone. After a standard joseki and trading some solid moves, I played a checking extension which he ignored to grab a load of points. I then invaded to take his base and he tenukied again to grab another corner. The problem was it wasn't so easy to kill the resulting heavy wall, nor to make profit from attacking.
After a three year break of holding the title, Alex Kent won the Wessex title at the annual tournament at St Mark's Community Centre in Bath by beating Alistair Wall in the last round. Alex is pictured right, being congratulated by organiser Ian Sharpe, before receiving the trophy.
The drawmaster, David King, was pleased at an increase in numbers to 38 players and there were enough doughnuts to go round. Of those players, those winning a trophy and cash prize for three wins were Alan Thornton (1k St Albans), Helen Harvey (3k Manchester), young George Han (5k) and Malcolm Walker (6k).