We're now in December - the final month of the 2014 Youth Grand Prix (YGP).
Cash prizes of £50, £30 and £20 will soon be decided.
With 11 months' results now in, the current standings suggest that the top 3 will come from these 4 players (grade, club and - most importantly, here - current YGP points are in brackets):
Edmund Smith (10k Milton 595)
Melchior Chui (9k Cambridge 510)
Kelda Smith (17k Milton 508)
Charlotte Bexfield (10k Letchworth 480)
Can Melchior, Kelda, Charlotte - or anybody else - stop Edmund regaining the title he lost last year to Oscar Selby?
The UK youth go team, as you would know from previous news items, is one of 13 teams signed up to the European Youth Go Team Championship. Follow that link to see the 12 players currently registered in the UK team.
In the second round of matches, the UK team beat Italy on Sat. 29th November.
Well done to Thomas, Oscar, Alex, Edmund and Anthony for their 4-1 win, which places the UK currently 6th out of the 13 teams taking part. Every board does count, as board-wins form part of the tie-break if teams have equal match-points.
As expected, Alex and Edmund had convincing wins on boards 3 and 4 respectively. Oscar also claimed his win, but unfortunately this was due to Italy not showing up on that board. They will receive a yellow card for that. Thomas had a tough game on board 1, and his much stronger opponent prevailed.
For a second year running the Coventry Tournament had a local winner. As the previous winner, Bruno Poltronieri, concentrated on organising, it was his University of Warwick club mate Philip Leung (5d) who won this time. He was rewarded with a bottle of port and a box of Maltesers. Second was Wu Ruizhu (5d) also from Warwick and third was Alison Bexfield from Letchworth. Those on 3/3 also got prizes: Ben Riddell (2k Cheltenham), Andre Cockburn (7k Nottingham), John Capper (12k Nottingham) and Christopher Manser (17k Warwick). 32 players took part.
Congratulations to Andrew Kay who defeated Alex Kent today to retain the British Championship by three games to nil.
A copy of the game is available, with comments from Matthew Macfadyen 6d.
Thanks to Nick Wedd for hosting, and to all others involved.
Gerry Gavigan (13k) from South London took second place in the 2014 UCC Tournament. This was held in the Mardyke Pavilion of University College Cork, situated in their sports area next to the River Lee. The 13 players who took part all played handicap games with a maximum of nine stones. Gerry won four games to win 100 euro only losing to the winner, Philippe Renaud (2d) from Galway. Philippe won all five games to gain the 150 euro first prize and Thomas Shanahan (4k Cork) took the third place on SOS tie-break from Artur Gower (18k Galway).
The UK's match against Spain on 18th November was split so that board 1 was played a day later.
Des Cann on board 2 wrote: My opponent started our game with the wrong overtime and I didn't notice causing a flurry of emails and abortive attempts to restart. On the board things were much calmer and I was able to plan the yose fairly early. My opponent got a ko in my corner but just using big yose as ko threats was good enough for me. He lived but I won the game quite safely.
Toby Manning on board 3 wrote: We had a fairly quiet game, with no major fights. I played a simple fuseki, ending up ahead and by the early middle game I simply had to avoid a major disaster – either losing a group or letting him get a large central territory. He failed to start a fight on the left hand side which could have been problematic and then I started a small semeai to gain some aji on the lower side.
The UK youth team played Romania on KGS on the afternoon of Saturday 15th November, in the first round of the European Youth Go Team Championship. The team played well against some very strong competition. They were hugely outranked on the first 4 boards, but had an even match on board 5, where Edmund did well to turn his game around from a difficult position into a convincing win by resignation. They lost the other four games, although post game analysis on board 3 revealed a slightly early resignation by our player (Dylan), who had played some excellent middle game moves and actually had the slightly better position.
All in all a good start against one of the strongest teams – the next matches should be easier. The second match is against Italy on 29th November.
Well done to everyone who played.
BGA UK Youth Squad Manager
Romania 4 - 1 UK
After a year gap Matthew Cocke regained the Three Peaks title. He won all five games, at the event at the Commodore Inn in Grange-over-Sands, to take the title for the fifth time. Winning four games were Roger Huyshe (4k Shropshire) and David Cantrell (6k South London). 31 players, including organiser Bob Bagot, took part.
A new venture this year was a team event with a small engraved toast rack as the prize. This was kindly donated by Graham Blackmore (one of the regulars). The first winners were a team from Shropshire -The Wollerton Wanderers - Brian Timmins, Kath Timmins and Roger Huyshe.
The Autumn 2014 edition of the British Go Journal, number 169, is now available in the members' area as a PDF and should be soon arriving in the post with members (except for electronic only members).
Organiser Alison Bexfield wished that all the 26 players at the first Letchworth Rapid Play had fun, and the thirty minute time limits saw most games ending in fun battles and not reaching their natural end. The venue was the Central Methodist Church in Letchworth Garden City which allowed the main group of players to be in the hall, but also a group of junior novices to be able to play 13x13 games in a side room.
Prizes were awarded by sections. The Open section winner was Tim Hunt (2d Milton Keynes) with six wins. Major Section (3k-9k) was won by Ben Ellis (3k Milton Keynes) randomly picked from the group on two wins by his daughter Sophie. Minor Section (10k-20k) winner was John Collins (10k St Albans).