The UK held on for a draw in their 10th game in the C-League to win promotion to the B-League with one match remaining. Des Cann was the last to finish after a long game against Iceland's Hallbjorn Gudmundsson, but won by 16.5 to tie the match. Earlier Jonathan Gallimore quickly forced Benedikt Birgisson to resign, but Chris Bryant lost by resignation to Thorbergur Olafsson and then Sandy Taylor lost to Olafur Siguroarson by 3.5.
Second placed South Africa only managed a draw too against Lithuania, but Bulgaria beat Portugal to be placed just behind South Africa on boards won tie-break. Also vying for the play-off place are Croatia and Lithuania who are only one match point behind the other two.
Following on from Chris Volk winning it last year, the winner this year was German 3 kyu Tobias Ungerer from Cambridge University, who won 4 out of 5 games. His only loss was to Bogdan Ghica who came second on tie break from Richard Mullens and James Murray.
The tournament was generously sponsored by an anonymous benefactor who wishes to support the Bar-Low as a great way to encourage and benefit developing players and so the winner went home with a prize of £30. The second biggest prize was awarded to young Alex Terry (10k), who also won 4. Bob Dryden had estimated his grade at 10k, but won all his games and generously declined a cash prize.
Andrew Simons won all his games to win the first stage of the British Championship. The Candidates' Tournament was held this year at The Fulbourn Centre near to Cambridge thanks to organiser Geoff Kaniuk. 24 players played, qualified based on tournament results in the twelve months up to the end of March, though not all played every round.
The qualifiers to join British Champion Andrew Kay in the Challengers' League are:
However, Des Cann is this year's UK rep for the World Amateur, so will not play and his qualification for the Challengers' League is deferred for one year. His place is taken by the next placed person: Toby Manning 1d on 4/6.
The English Chess Federation publishes its entire membership list for all to see (members and non-members alike can access this). This shows what type of membership people have paid for and when their membership expires. It does not of course give out private email addresses. I imagine it publishes the list so that tournament organisers can charge and subsequently pay over the correct levy for grading purposes.
Should we do something similar for the BGA?
Posted as a result of a comment on the Gotalk mailing list by Richard Mullens.
Alistair Wall made an early start in the new season of the Stacey Grand Prix by winning the 2015 Welwyn Garden City Tournament. Coming first at this four round event, held at the Red Lion in Hatfield, means he starts in the lead and looks like he has a good chance of retaining the trophy he collected at the British for the previous 2014-2015 season.
Others of the 24 players who won prizes for three wins were Ngoc-Trang Cao (2d Strasbourg), Tim Hunt (2d Milton Keynes), Karim Secker (5k), Melchior Chui (9k Cambridge), Ben Murphy (10k Billericay) and Alex Terry (10k Bungay). Grimsby's Daffyd Robinson (11k) won the fighting spirit prize.
The BGA team beat Cyprus by three boards to one to stay top of the C-League. Rivals Bulgaria lost four-nil to third place South Africa, who move up to second three points behind us. With just two matches left, against Iceland and Kazhakstan, it is hoped we can remain top.
Chris wrote: My game was pretty one-sided from the start - opponent misplayed the first joseki and ended up with a bad result, and then I killed a few groups before he resigned.
Des wrote: Comfortable win. Nice gain in first corner fight when my opponent didn't know joseki leaving him with a weak centre group. Nice gain in second corner fight gaining lovely thickness whilst he lived on the second line in gote. I then attacked his centre group whilst building a moyo. He tenukied to invade my moyo. So I killed his centre group. He then formed two solid groups on the edge and then connected them together whilst I tidied up all my weaknesses.
Go is featuring at FestivalAsia, a unique three-day spectacular at Tobacco Dock in London, from Friday 15th May to Sunday 17th May. It boasts over 150 exhibitors and a main performance stage along with a cultural room, a spiritual room and children’s entertainment. There is something to suit all tastes at FestivalAsia, which embraces the amazing diversity of Asian arts & cultures from many of the 29 countries making up this intriguing continent.
The BGA will be demonstrating and lecturing on the game, with a number of volunteers headed by Roger Huyshe.
A summary of the AGM will be sent to all Association members in the next Newsletter and full minutes posted in the Members' Area in due course.
Alistair Wall (2d Wanstead) scored a massive 45 points to win the Stacey Grand Prix, the grand prix for most games won in the top group at a year's tournaments. He was awarded the Stacey Trophy at the British Go Congress in Shrewsbury. The British Open is the last event of the grand prix year, but Alistair's 4 points scored there left him half a point short of equalling the record. The record of 45.5 points was set in 1996 by Francis Roads, a player who has been in the top 7 every year bar one (2010).
Ironically the game that really cost Alistair the record was that against Francis at the 2014 Mind Sports Olympiad, where Alistair passed with a dame point left on the board and lost that game by half a point.
The British Open was part of the British Go Congress and it was held this year in the Prince Rupert Hotel in Shrewsbury, over a weekend where the weather was described as "inclement". The whole event was sponsored by Pentangle Puzzles and Games.
The weekend started on the Friday afternoon with tuition by Oh Chi Min (7d), who continued with many game reviews over the weekend.
The British Lightning was held on the Friday evening. 28 players played seven tables of four for rounds 1, 2 and 3, then Swiss-style for rounds 4 and 5, to determine the winner as Alex Rix (3d Central London) with 5/5.