Russian 7 dan Ilya Shikshin retained the European Championship by beating Catalin Taranu in the final. This year the top 8 placed Europeans played knockout after round 7 which gave to an exciting final on the last day. Winning the play-off for third was Ukraine's Artem Kachanovskyi, who beat Alexandr Dinerchtein.
Natasha Regan and Matthew Cocke took 11th place (the 9th best country) at the European Pair Go Championship in Istanbul, Turkey. They lost to Czechia, France and Germany, but beat Poland and two pairs from Turkey. Best of the 31 pairs taking part was the pair from Hungary, Rita Pocsai and Pal Balogh. Czechia was second and Ukraine third.
The UK representative at the 32nd WAGC was Alex Selby from Cambridge. He won 3 games to take 43rd place. His first game was a loss to former World Champion Hirata of Japan. He then lost to Nechanicky of Czechia and Trippel of Switzerland, before beating Neville Smythe of Australia.
Another slightly more scratch team than usual (Matthew couldn't play again) for our final game against Spain proved more successful with a 3:1 win (probably).
The probably is because Toby was playing on Pandanet for the first time and he and his opponent failed to manage to set the time limits correctly and play their game.
With a somewhat more scratch team than usual (Matthew couldn't play etc.) we lost 1-3 against Slovenia.
Thanks to Jonathan Chin for stepping up at the last minute to play board 4. He was leading with a huge centre, but then there was an unfavourable big exchange in a ko and he ended up losing by 1.5 points.
In the 3rd edition of the TransAtlantic Youth Go Match Vanessa Wong, representing Europe, beat Hugh Zhang (aged 14) by 10 points. Hugh took 1st place in the USA 2008 Redmond Cup Junior division and 2nd place in the 2008 US Youth Goe Championship.
This event provides the opportunity for youth players on both sides to get top-level playing experience and make new go friends.
Wins on boards 2 and 4 for the UK ensured the honours were split evenly between the UK and Austria.
Captain Will Brooks finally broke his duck, and Jon Diamond did his duty as president, while misfortune befell Matthew Macfadyen and Andrew Simons.
The season is nearing its end with only 2 more matches to be played (vs. Slovenia and Spain).
Vanessa Wong was second at the EYGC for a second year running. She lost, as last year, to Mateusz Surma from Poland who retained the under-16 title. Also travelling to the beautiful setting of the lakeside Santon Hotel in Brno, Czechia, were sisters Kelda and Roella Smith from Cambridge. In the under-12s Roella won 2 games at 11k to place 13th and Kelda won 3 at 20k to place 41st.
Finland's Antti Tormanen (6 dan) tied with Wei Wang (6dan) in the 62 player Irish Open. This was Antti's fourth tournament win of the Pandanet Go European Cup, which put him top in the points table with 57.
As usual, many of the players in Dublin for the Irish Open congregated in the Teachers' Club on the Friday night for the Irish Rapid handicap tournament. The 26 players had to cope with the decreasing time limits and the handicap-plus-one games. Best at coping was Ian Davis (1 dan) from Belfast. Second, losing to Ian in the fifth round, was Jan Reichelt (1 kyu) from Germany.