The 2014 London Open got under way 15 minutes late on Sunday 28th December after a repairing. 108 players in all are expected, with 101 already playing. As usual a large number of players are from outside the UK, with many strong Chinese players as well as players from several European countries.
Also present are three professionals: Fan Hui from France, Dongeun Choi from Korea and Hajin Lee, the IGF Secretary.
Again the venue is ISH at the top of Great Portland Street convenient for seeing London and providing accommodation for those staying over.
The Edinburgh Christmas tournament saw a total of 25 players.
Tongzhou (Joe) Cai (3d Glasgow) sparkled the most and took the bottle of champagne with 4 wins from 4. Prizes for 3 wins went to co-organiser Boris Mitrovic (3d Edinburgh), Alistair Wall (2d Wanstead), Niall Paterson (5k Glasgow), Baron Hasslinger (5k Edinburgh) and Greg Cox (10k Dundee). The remaining two prizes went to Quintin Connell (9k Glasgow) for 2 wins from 3, and Magdalena Mladenova (1d Sofia) as the furthest-travelled on 2 wins.
We were heavily outranked on boards 1, 4 and 5 against Israel, although Tom, Anthony and Hilary acquitted themselves well in the face of grading differences of between 10 and 16 stones.
It was good to see the two U12 players playing a solid game, protecting their groups so there were no major dead groups at the end. Charlotte had a quick win and Dylan had his opponent on the ropes for much of the game. His opponent narrowed the gap, and Dylan resigned, thinking he was about to lose a group of stones. In fact, with a little thought, he could have saved them and would have won the game by about 8 points.
UK stayed second behind Bulgaria in the 12-team C-League. Bulgaria have won two more boards than the UK.
The match against Ireland ended in a 3-1 win for the UK team, as follows:
Links to the games, with .SGFs, are available on our main Pandanet Go European Team Championship (PGETC) page.
The second South London kyu players' teaching day and tournament was again at the Croydon Quaker Meeting House. Nineteen students were taught in the morning by four teachers - Andrew Kay, Alex Rix, Tim Hunt and Alison Bexfield. In the afternoon there was a three round tournament.
In the teachers' section the teachers all played each other, in a round-robin tournament, with all games even. In the students' tournament all games were played with handicaps equal to grade difference where appropriate.
Andrew Kay won the teachers' tournament with three wins; he received a prize of a bag of delicious gingerbread men from the organiser's excellent local cake shop.
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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.