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 UK youth team played Romania on KGS on the afternoon of Saturday 15th November, in the first round of the European Youth Go Team Championship. The team played well against some very strong competition. They were hugely outranked on the first 4 boards, but had an even match on board 5, where Edmund did well to turn his game around from a difficult position into a convincing win by resignation. They lost the other four games, although post game analysis on board 3 revealed a slightly early resignation by our player (Dylan), who had played some excellent middle game moves and actually had the slightly better position.
All in all a good start against one of the strongest teams – the next matches should be easier. The second match is against Italy on 29th November.
Well done to everyone who played.
BGA UK Youth Squad Manager
Romania 4 - 1 UK
With the oldest players of recent years moved on to University the way was open for the new generation to take over at the British Youth Go Championships in Aston, Birmingham. Everybody expected Oscar Selby to triumph, at 6k being 3 grades above the rest of the field, but he made a mistake in a fight to lose by less than 10 points to Leamington Go Club's Dylan Zhu-Dong. Dylan beat the other top players too and ended up collecting the Under-14 and Youth Champion titles. Oscar won the Under-12 and was runner up in the overall championship. Runners up in those age groups were Hasan Nisar from Aston and Kelda Smith from Cambridge. Melchior Chui from Cambridge won again in the Under-16 section, with Thomas Meehan from Solihull the runner up.