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10-Jul: UK Go Challenge Finals Held in Stoke

The after a gap in 2016, the UK Go Challenge Finals were back. This time the event was sponsored by Mindsports Academy (MSA) as part of their youth championship event, which meant free entry. As well as the usual certificates, all players received a MSA voucher, participant's medal and sports bag; the winner and second also received a trophy from MSA and all age group winners received a plaque from MSA too. The venue was the very pleasant function rooms of Stoke City's stadium, now called the...

27-Jun: Eric wins 25th Welsh Open

The 25th Welsh Open – held in its constant, coastal town of Barmouth since 1993 (when Matthew Macfadyen gained the first of his 16 consecutive wins) – was held on the weekend of 24-25 June 2017. Organised again by Helen & Martin Harvey, the event passed off smoothly and enjoyably, despite Martin's sun dance needing improvement, although the rainy periods meant it was a good time to be indoors. 31 played in at least 1 of the 6 rounds, including two 3-dans, two 2-dans, 4 shodans and down to a 13-kyu. Participants could take a bow for having travelled from across the UK – from as far away as the Isle of Man, Durham and Winchester. Numbers at the evening meals were further-swelled by non-playing partners....

19-Jun: Alex Kent Completes Herd of Goats at Durham

Report from Andrew Ambrose-Thurman:

The rain was falling heavily as people made their way to the first morning of Durham Go Tournament 2017, this year held at Durham's Oriental Museum. Despite the downpour there was a reasonable turnout of 29, with this being several people's first tournament, and ranks ranged from 20k to 3d.

This year we decided to video the games on the top board and stream them live over the internet. We also projected the video onto a big screen in the side room, where people were reviewing games and playing in the side events. (The...

04-Jun: 7th Pair Go Win for Natasha and Matthew

The British Pair Go Championship was again held at the Red Lion in Hatfield and the organisers, Francis Roads and Jenny Rofe-Radcliffe, were again pleased as there was an increase to 17 pairs, despite several of the stronger pairs not taking part this year. Most of this number was a large group from Cheadle Hulme School (CHS) and Manchester, which was recognised by the organisers presenting Martin and Helen Harvey with a special prize for arranging this.

In the top group the 2016 champions, Joanne Leung and Bruno Poltronieri, did not do so well and it came down to a...

30-May: Daniel Hu and Andrew Simons to Play Title Match

Both Daniel Hu and Andrew Simons won six games out of seven to top the list at the Challengers' League. Andrew won in their mutual game, but lost to Charles Hibbert on time, when his flag fell earlier than expected. Charles was third with 5 wins, Tim Hunt won 4, Andrew Kay and Alex Rix 3, Joanne Leung won 1 and Des Cann took eighth place.

Daniel and Andrew now go on to play the title match over the coming months.


29-May: Boris Runs and Wins Scottish Open

The Scottish Open took place at the offices of Skyscanner in the modern Quartermile One building in Lauriston Place, Edinburgh, on 27th and 28th May. 20 players made it along, some having met the night before for some lightning Go and socialising at the "Noughts and Crosses" Games Cafe on Morisson Street.

Prizes were awarded to the top three ranked players: Boris Mitrovic (2d Edinburgh) with 6 wins, Paul Smith (1k Cambridge) with 5 wins and Neil McLean (1k Aberdeen) with 3 wins. Prizes also went to the three 5kyus who each won 4 of their 6 games: Edmund Smith (Cambridge), Stephen Chester (Edinburgh) and Niall Paterson (Glasgow).


27-May: Ke Jie Ends in Tears vs AlphaGo

AlphaGo won the third game of the the match bringing its opponent, Ke Jie, to tears and winning the match 3-0.

BBC Radio News reported that it had been announced that AlphaGo would no longer play humans.

On the previous day (Friday 26th) AlphaGo had beaten a team of Chinese pros, who could discuss the game, by resignation. Its only loss of the week was with a Chinese professional partner against itself and another Chinese professional partner in a Pair Go game.

26-May: AlphaGo Beats Ke Jie Twice in Match

The last man-machine match was held in Wizhen in China, between top Chinese play Ke Jie and Deepmind's AlphaGo. The first game on 23rd was very close with AlphaGo just winning by half a point. The second on 25th was a very complicated fight with AlphaGo winning by resignation to clinch the best-of-three match.

Also this week, Deepmind's founder, Demis Hassabis, was the guest on Radio 4's Desert Island Discs.

For more details of the match read the media reports in the national press or the Deepmind report which has game records at the bottom.

17-May: UK Team Ends Fourth in B League

The last round of the B-League on 16th May saw the UK playing Italy. Board one was played a day early. The match was drawn with wins on boards 3 and 4.

Andrew Simons wrote: I'm afraid I lost my game last night against Allesandro Pace. I was happy with how the opening went, and played a shoulder hit I'd seen in a Lee Sedol game to counter his influence strategy. Once I played the last big opening point on the left he played a strange attachment underneath and rather than directly answering I went for a leaning attack. He then played a loose move (f7 rather than f8, afterwards he said it was misclick) which allowed me to clamp to get the side but instead I got carried away and played what was essentially an endgame move at...

16-May: David Woodnutt

We have heard from Alex Eve that David Woodnutt died at home of bowel cancer on Saturday 6th May 2017, aged 69.

Alex writes: “In 1969 he was the first person for five years who I could play Go with who I hadn't taught. He had learnt Go from the New Scientist article in early sixties. He founded the Sussex University Go Club in 1969. I next met him in Buckingham, around which we both lived a long while, and renewed friendship.” He later moved to Kington in Herefordshire.

David was on the BGA Council from 1991 to 1995 and was the journal editor from issue...

15-May: BGJ 179 Now Available in Members Area

The Spring 2017 edition of the BGJ is now available for members to read.

14-May: Lucretiu Calota wins at Bracknell

The top player at the 39th Bracknell Go Tournament was Lucretiu Calota (4d St Albans) who beat Alistair Wall (1d Wanstead) in the final (pictured). Chao Zhang (5d London) and Jim Clare (1d Reading) took third and fourth places, and Paul Barnard (2k Swindon) took fifth with three wins. Others of the 36 players winning three were Casey Alexander (10k Arundel), Alexander Hsieh (10k Cambridge Juniors) and Lueming Yang (20k Oxford).

Arundel won the team prize, by one win, over the junior team of "A Football Stuck in a Bush Squad". Nobody competed in the 13x13, but...

01-May: Daniel Hu Wins Candidates'

The Candidates' Tournament was held over the April-May Bank Holiday weekend at the Young Chelsea Bridge Club in West London. 18 of the possible players took part to determine who would play in the next stage of the British Championship, the Challengers' League, on the next bank holiday at the same venue.

Thanks to the organiser, Matt Marsh, setting up a webcam, Chris Bryant was able to rebroadcast the top board game online and it gave a chance to see some of the game on YouTube. Also the players were able on the Sunday to help review some of the games in the...

01-May: Bar-Low won by Alison Bexfield

After a year's break, the Bar-Low tournament returned, thanks to organiser Jonathan Green at a new comfortable venue - The Young Chelsea Bridge Club, home of the West London Go Club. It was held as usual alongside the Candidates' Tournament.

Thanks to an anonymous donor, the entry fees were cheap, 17 players taking advantage of this. The generous prizes meant that more than half of the competitors made at least their entry fee back, as well as everyone taking home some sweet treats.

Alison Bexfield (1k, Letchworth) was the winner, having secured victory before the last round started. Roger Huyshe (5k, Manchester), Roger Daniel (7k, London) and Lueming Yang (23k, Oxford) also all did well, winning four games out of five...

26-Apr: UK Team Heads for Promotion Play-Offs

The 10th round of the B-League on 25th April saw the UK playing Austria. The match was drawn after some good play on boards 1 and 2.

Des Cann wrote: Very happy. Won by 1/2 pt against Viktor Lin ranked 24th on European rating list. He invaded my right-hand side Chinese twice, which was actually reasonable as I had tenukied. Then he leant on my bottom side and went for a severe attack on my small group in between his two groups. However he overplayed his hand and my group lived, cutting of some stones and connecting to my top right corner making it big. From then on he played hard everywhere testing me. It got quite complicated, but nothing fell off. System said I'd won by 12.5, but komi had defaulted to -5.5, so the...

24-Apr: Isle of Man Earlybird Extended

The Leo Phillips Isle of Man Go Festival is taking place from 30 July - 4 August 2017. Early bird discounted entries are available until 14 May so please enter soon to take advantage of the reduced price.

This popular event has been held 12 times since 1991 and gives you a chance to mix playing Go with sightseeing on the island. The timetable of tournaments allows you to choose how much time to spend playing Go and how much to spend on other things. And there is a range of side events including a continuous lightning tournament, rengo, 13x13 Go and a quiz. Port Erin, where the festival is held, is a delightful small seaside town in the south west of the island.

There are a lot of interesting things to see on the Isle of...

20-Mar: Eric and CHS Youth win Inaugural South Manchester Tournament

The first-ever South Manchester tournament was held on Sunday 19th March 2017. Despite the drizzle, much fun was had by all. Cheadle Hulme School (CHS) kindly allowed use of their dining hall for the day, and nine of their students enjoyed free tournament entry.

There were two non-playing organisers on hand all day: Mike Winslow (Head of Physics) welcomed attendees and presented prizes, while Martin Harvey of Manchester Go Club ran impromptu teaching lessons for some non-players. To accommodate several 10-15-year-olds, two separate tournaments were run on the same day. The Main tourney was a 3-round affair, while the Fast tourney consisted of...