The 9th round of the B-League on 21st March saw the UK playing Switzerlamd. The match was won as Andrew Simons. Des Cann and Jon Diamond won, and only Bruno Poltronieri lost. As top team Poland beat second placed Italy and all the other teams drew, the UK moved up to third place (just ahead of Austria on boards won).
Andrew Simons wrote: My game was against 4 dan Armel-David Wolff, who I'd met at the World Amateur last year. I thought the opening was slightly good for me once he didn't go for complications by pincering my bottom left approach and I invaded his dubious shape on the left side. Inspired by AlphaGo, I went for the kick and jump when he approached the top left, aiming to overconcentrate him on the side but he extended further on the 3rd line so I didn't get a chance to play the 5th line shoulder hit and he snuck in the corner and lived (for now) in sente which was a bit annoying.
The first-ever South Manchester tournament was held on Sunday 19th March 2017. Despite the drizzle, much fun was had by all. Cheadle Hulme School (CHS) kindly allowed use of their dining hall for the day, and nine of their students enjoyed free tournament entry.
There were two non-playing organisers on hand all day: Mike Winslow (Head of Physics) welcomed attendees and presented prizes, while Martin Harvey of Manchester Go Club ran impromptu teaching lessons for some non-players. To accommodate several 10-15-year-olds, two separate tournaments were run on the same day. The Main tourney was a 3-round affair, while the Fast tourney consisted of 6 rounds.
In the Main tourney, run by Helen Harvey, Manchester Go club provided half the 20 players, and greedily ensured that none of the three prizes awarded left Manchester!
The 2017 Irish Confucius Cup took place in Dublin in the Ballroom Suite of the Gresham Hotel. It was the strongest yet, with two European professionals and three 7 dans taking part, and attracted 47 entrants from 15 countries. In addition Chen Rui (5p) and Yu Ping (2p) were visiting from China, and Guo Juan (5p) from Amsterdam, reviewing the players' games and playing simultaneous games.
The weekend started on the Friday night with the Irish Rapid; Zhiqing Zhang (5d) won, with Mariusz Klimczak (9k) in second place. The Saturday started with an opening ceremony and then the main tournament commenced. Alongside, as previous, there was a Chinese Chess tournament, a junior Chess match between Sussex and Ireland and downstairs a 150-player Chess tournament.
Round 3 was the round that effectively decided the Go event, as Kim Seong-Jin (7d) managed a half-point win over Pavol Lisy (1p). Both players won their other games to take first and second respectively.
On the afternoon of the Trigantius Tournament in Cambridge, the Trigantius Novices' was run in one of the other rooms of the University Staff Club.
This year there were fifteen players in the tournament, twelve juniors, two parents of junior players, and one organiser of a school Chess and Go club. Twelve of the fifteen are pictured. They played five rounds on 13x13 boards, working well as grades were in the range 20k to 40k.
The crucial match to decide the winner was between two of the adult players, Pierre Oliviere from Harpenden and Mark Walters from Cambridge. In the end Pierre won by a single point.
The top junior players, in joint third place with three wins, were David Baldwin from Letchworth, and Sam Beck, Waylon Gao and Yize Gao, from the local junior club.
A total of 45 players braved the chill to play in the 41st Trigantius tournament on 4th March this year. It was held as the last couple of years at the Cambridge University Social Club in the centre of the city.
Tournament winner was Daniel Hu (3d Central London) who beat local 4d Andrew Simons in the final. Daniel was duly presented with the Trigantius trophy, which he gets to look after for a year.
Other players gaining prizes for three wins were Edmund Smith (6k Cambridge) and Toby Manning (1k Leicester).
After a day plagued with computer troubles, organiser Geoff Kaniuk wrote: "A group of us managed to find a bar providing beverage and food for a well deserved evening meal."
The 8th round of the B-League on 28th February saw the UK playing Solvakia. Andrew Simons played another European pro, this time Pavol Lisy. Charles Hibbert had connection problems and so Sandy Taylor, as captain, had to take over on board two. The match was drawn as both these two lost, but Des Cann and Jamie Taylor won.
Andrew Simons wrote: I lost against Pavol Lisy 1p. In the opening he picked an unusual move to grab territory and I got a big wall for a side moyo, which he then wedged (not in the place that has a miai two-space extension out of respect for the wall, an advanced technique I'd studied recently). But, rather than settling on the side, he attached on top of my pincer and then pressured my corner, and I moved out with a shoulder hit. I then spent a long time deciding whether to k16 jump on top or f11 surround his group, and chose the later, but maybe it was a mistake as only sente for a seki, not a kill, due to a sente move of his.
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.