The UK had six players representing it at the European Youth Championship, held from 12-15 March in Zandvoort am Zee in the Netherlands.
Looking very smart in their UK youth team hoodies, there was a good team spirit. After the first two rounds things were not looking good for the UK, but in the later rounds we did pick up more wins to end with a total of 14 points out of 36.
One of our players had a very exciting finish in the last round. After an epic game, in which her opponent had gone into three sets of overtime, Roella claimed a win by one point – after the additional extra 6 points komi courtesy of Ing overtime rules which give two penalty points per overtime set. With our player within one minute of going into overtime herself, which would have reversed the result, it was a most exciting end to the tournament.
Edmund, representing us in the U12 section, finished 18th in his section.
The entry forms for the 2015 UK Go Challenge are now available on the UK Go Challenge website. Packs will be ready by the middle or end of February.
The only thing that has changed this year is the prizes. Back again are the ever-popular black and white logo bugs. This year they are carrying the motto "Play Go!". The top prize is back too; instead of a trophy, it is one of the "Play Go!" tote bags.
Also different is the coloured star for three points, which is replaced by a colourful Cheer Words sticker.
We hope all UK youth or school Go clubs can take part.
UK Go Challenge Organiser
In round four of the European Youth Go Team Championship the UK’s youth team narrowly lost to Czechia 2-3. As expected, Tom and Roella lost on boards 1 and 3, although they put up a good fight against much stronger opponents. Oscar managed a good win on evenly matched board 2 and Edmund cruised to victory on board 4. This left us needing a win on board 5 where we had chances with our player on paper only one grade weaker. Anthony played well and looked to be heading for a win but the greater experience of his opponent paid off in the endgame and so we lost the match overall, but gained some valuable tie break points from our wins.
This puts us in 11th place out of the 13 teams. There is one round left to play on 31st January in which we receive a bye. We have the chance to play a friendly match against the German B team instead.
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.
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.
National Youth Squad members will have received invitations to join the junior online club which will meet on Sunday evenings 8:00 - 9:00 pm. This will use a private room on the KGS server. The aim is for junior squad members who live a long way from other players to be able to meet and play with other juniors in a dedicated online club room.
Our Youth Squad leader Alison Bexfield is running a 6-round rapid-play tournament in Letchworth on Saturday 8th November 2014. There will be two separate junior sections included in this event. The Junior Open is for juniors who are confident players (stronger than 20 kyu) and the novice section is for those newer to the game or who have not achieved success in tournaments to date.
Congratulations to Oscar Selby, 7 kyu from Epsom, for winning the 2013 Youth Grand Prix with an outstanding 1411 points - more than twice the number of his next challenger!
Second came Edmund Smith, 15 kyu from Milton (Cambridge), with 702 points and third was Melchior Chui, 12 kyu from Cambridge, with 499 points.
Full details for 2013 are here
Cash prizes to t
As the autumn term gets underway and we start thinking of the exciting Go events in 2014, including the European Youth Go Championships coming to England, let's remind ourselves about one of the exciting events earlier this year.
23 youngsters competed in the 2013 finals of the UK Go Challenge, held at Milton C of E Primary School near Cambridge.