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).
The UK team kept their unbeaten record in the Pandanet B League by beating Turkey 3-1.
Chris Bryant was first to finish; he said: Got off to a good opening, tried to build up a big moyo and was allowed to do so. My opponent got a group cut off, which I then harassed to turn that moyo mostly into territory, and it was a very comfortable game from there.
Jon Diamond played a very entertaining game and said: Got off not too badly, but then he pressed a bit too much and I counter-cut creating a weak group of his in the centre, but with one of mine not quite having 2 eyes and another floating a bit, I needed to be careful. (His corner has group looks OK and he has to leave his weak group to try and capture my other one. No go there, but he squeezes out along the side and lives in my corner - damn.
OK, now need to surround his one eyed group in the centre - I’m not sure I can kill it, but will make a big territory anyway.
The second Sheffield Go Tournament, though not as well attended as the first, was still very successful, which meant they could again make modest cash prizes to the winner and runner-up. The winner was Xinyi ‘Sugar’ Liu (3d); she is pictured receiving first prize from organiser Bob Scantlebury. The runner up was Alistair Wall (2d). On three wins were youth players Edmund Smith (7k) and Daniel Gascoyne (17k), and also Michael Kyle (9k) and David Wildgoose (10k). Two youth players were also awarded prizes for two wins, namely Tom Bradbury (14k) and Lily Danson (15k). Matthew Jackson (37k) won a special prize for entering his first ever tournament, and Zaki Betesh (4k) won the Fighting Spirit prize.