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18-Jan: Fun and Games at Maidenhead

It was all fun and games at the Hitachi-Maidenhead Tournament. The selection of games available as prizes is shown left. Also non-playing organiser Alison kept other non-players and early finishers amused with various card and dice games. In the Go 35 players battled over three rounds with London's Peikai Xue (2d) being unbeaten to win the event. Runner up this time was Jon Diamond (2d), third was Jacob Zhang (4d) and fourth Kalle Timperi (1d). All those on two wins got the choice of one of the prize games, wine or cash as a prize, whereas those on three wins got two of the three choices....

16-Jan: President Wins at Harpenden

26 players (and a few hangers-on) attended the second Harpenden Go Tournament (previously the Welwyn Garden City Go Tournament) on Sunday 12th January, which had an upped entry level of 1 dan. It was held again in the Harpenden Arms Public House, which still had its Christmas Lights up to honour the tournament, which wouldn't have happened on last year's March date. Afterwards some of the players enjoyed dinner at a local Italian restaurant.


15-Jan: Team Loses to Switzerland

In the fifth match of the season, our team lost against Switzerland, dropping to sixth position in the B-League.

Andrew Simons wrote: I won my marathon game against Fabien Lips by resignation. It started with a fight from a modern double approach joseki, which got even more complicated when I thought my centre group was strong enough to make an attacking invasion to split his left side and corner. I made a little barely alive group in the gap which unsettled his and we jumped out with several one point jumps, which when he made a territorial move on the top I aimed to wedge and kill his group. He did spot that, but I got a big local profit in exchange. He surprised me by defending on the top, so I tried to surround and...

04-Jan: London Rengo is Not Boring

Nineteen participants ranging in age from mid-teens upwards, from eight countries took part in the traditional London Open Rengo tournament on the afternoon of New Year's Eve. We could have had eight teams, reports Jenny Rolf-Radcliffe, but that would have lent itself to a boring number of pairs. Thus we had two fours, three threes and one pair to make the games more interesting - after all, a large part of the fun of Rengo is to have games between teams of different sizes. This year was very balanced; at the end of three rounds there were no teams on zero wins and...

02-Jan: Daniel Hu and Sam Barnett are the Stars of the London Open

On the 28th December, dozens of people assembled in the capital for the London Open (the 46th), held this year for only the second time at the current London Go Centre. Despite the fact that more entrants were allowed this year (one hundred), there were a fair number of 'no-shows' which meant just 87 players actually took part. This was disappointing and unfair to the people on the waiting list who couldn't enter because the entry limit had been reached; organiser Gerry Gavigan will make sure that next year only those who have paid the full entry fee on booking will be guaranteed a place.

Sixteen countries fielded players with ages ranging 'from seven to seventy-seven'. The grades ranged from 7d to 16k; both stronger and weaker...

17-Dec: Match Against Finland Drawn

In the fourth match of the season, our team (the same players as the previous match) managed a draw against Finland, after a late substitution of a weaker player by them.

Andrew Simons wrote: I won my game against Javier-Aleksi Savolainen by 7.5 points. He played even more slowly than me in the opening, so it was a nice sensible game: after some AI-style josekis he shoulder-hit my not-in-the-middle extension and rather than jumping out he cut off my wall below. As it had made some standard kikashi earlier, I managed to get it out in ok shape; we ran for a bit (I think he shouldn't have let me get j12), he capped my group, but then I went for a small local life/connection, which was locally a bit sad but ok given I'd got a...

14-Dec: Matthew Scott Wins Edinburgh Christmas

This longstanding event returned with a bang this year. After several years of poor attendances there were 24 entrants, with a good spread of grades and seven players above the bar, set at 2k. The outright winner was Matthew Scott (1d) with 4/4. Prizes were awarded to all six players on 3/4: Joel Barrett (4k Manchester), Josh Gorman (4k Glasgow), Quinlan Morake (5k Glasgow), Yun Lu (8k Edinburgh), Frankie Higgs (11k Lancaster) and a visitor from Belgium, Alexandre Terefenko (6k). Nick Gotts (10k Edinburgh) also won a prize for being the highest DDK.


14-Dec: UK Youth Team Smash Netherlands

Alison Bexfield, team captain, writes:

The UK youth team played the Netherlands today in their second round match of the 2019/20 European Youth Go Team Championship (EYGTC). It was good to see a team from the Netherlands playing this year for the first time.

When choosing the team for each match I try to pick a team which has good winning chances, but also where the grade differences between players are likely to be close so that our players can develop their match play. The Netherlands team is much weaker in strength than our first round opponents (Russia), so we were able to play a different set of players from our squad of fifteen than the previous round. On paper...

02-Dec: Cheadle Hulme are Top British School

Cheadle Hulme School (shown left) proved they are the top British school for Go by both having the largest team at the British Youth Go Championships and by winning the Castledine Trophy. The top three of their 19-strong team won the team matches to get the trophy, beating Sir John Lawes School from Harpenden (3-0) and James Gillespie's High School from Edinburgh (2-1) (who beat SJL 2-1). The Best Junior School was Harpenden Academy, beating James Gillespie's Primary School (2-1).

The 2019 British Youth Go Championship (BYGC) was held in the marquee of Brownsover Hall, a...

25-Nov: Peikai wins Three Peaks

This year's debutant organiser, Adrian Abrahams reports:

There was very nearly no Three Peaks competition this year, after I failed to confirm the venue's booking at the Wheatsheaf pub in Ingleton....

20-Nov: Win Against Netherlands Moves UK to 5th

In the third match of the season, our team had a great win against a team from the Netherlands, winning three games to one. This meant the team was 5th in the B-League.

Andrew Simons wrote: I won my game against Filip Vander Stappen by resignation. I took a look at some of his KGS games and he seemed to play an old pre-AI territorial style, so I quickly played AI style opening similar to my title match against Sam last year but attached on the other (better) side in the lower left. When I tried to surround territory on the 5th line he came in and we had our first fight, but I felt confident with his weak side group to push against and my lower right pressing group in decent shape. He played very territorially and I ended...

19-Nov: UK Youth Team Fight Valiantly Against Russia A

The UK youth team fought valiantly against top seeds Russia A team in the first round of the 2019/20 European Youth Go Team Championship (EYGTC), but in the end the match went according to grade and the Russian team won 5-0.

We always knew it was going to be a difficult match, as all the Russian A team are dan players. So we fielded our strongest players from the squad. Even so, only one game was within one grade of the Russian team on paper. Incidentally, this was the strongest team the UK youth team has fielded since this competition began.

Four of our players were experienced members of the team, but we welcomed Bill playing on Board 2 playing in his first team...

18-Nov: BGA Demos Go 1-1 to 200 Youngsters Over Two Days

Despite floods disrupting travel, especially in the N-W, this year's Doki Doki Festival went ahead as planned, in Manchester. Thanks go to all the organisers, helped considerably by members of the friendly Japan Society North West (JSNW).

The annual fun event, with all imaginable Japan-themed activities, stalls and competitions, attracted its usual huge (4,000 over 2 days) and largely youthful attendance. For each such occasion, the organisers invite us back (we're the British Go...

04-Nov: Cambridge Wins Varsity Match

This year the Varsity Match between Oxford and Cambridge universities raised its profile, by having the match at the neutral venue of the London Go Centre.

The three-player teams played three rounds, with Cambridge emerging the winners by six boards to three.

The Oxford players were Alexandru-Petre Pitrop, Han Yang and Guodong Cao, and the Cambridge players were Tony Tunyang Xie, Doha Chris Lee and Zherui Xu. They are shown with non-playing John Bamford from Oxford University.

R1: Cao 0:1 Xie; Pitrop 0:1 Xu; Yang 1:0 Lee

R2: Pitrop 0:1 Lee; Yang 0:1 Xie; Cao 0:...

02-Nov: Turkey Defeated

The second match in the new league season was against Turkey. The match produced some entertaining games of which the British team won three to take their first win of the season. This left the team in sixth place out of ten.

Bruno Poltronieri was the losing player, by resignation to Emre Polat (5d). He wrote: I lost by resignation. I was relatively happy with the opening, though Leela seems to prefer Black. I then managed to cut off part of my opponent's group and get a fairly large territory on the right side, at which point I’m definitely leading. I guess I was too confident after that because I played a very questionable tenuki which probably made the game even again, if not worse. I actually still thought I was...

02-Nov: UK Lose to Sweden

For the tenth season of the Pandnet Go European Team Championship, the UK team remains in the B-League, the second of four leagues.

The first match was against a strong Swedish team. Jamie Taylor was our only win by resignation against Lova Wåhlin (1d). Bruno Poltronieri lost to Charlie Åkerblom (5d) by 18.5, Alex Kent lost to Martin Li (4d) by Resignation and Des Cann lost to Erik Ouchterlony (4d) on time.

Jamie wrote: I started a very dubious fight in the corner pretty quickly and my opponent misplayed and died. After that she tried to make a huge moyo to compensate, which looked scary for a bit, but she made a very weak group in the process which also died. After that she resigned.

Bruno wrote...

31-Oct: Wessex Celebrates its 50th

The Wessex Tournament celebrated its 50th edition by making 2019 a special two-day event. Sponsorship from the T Mark Hall Foundation enabled the nice, but expensive, venue of the Bristol Village Hotel, in Patchway just north of Bristol. Fittingly T Mark had been a member of Bristol Go Club, a great fan of lightning Go and a four-time winner of the Wessex.

The main event on the Saturday afternoon was the T Mark Hall Lightning (played with handicaps). It was won by Peikai Xue, who defeated Carl Roll in the playoff between the two division winners. Both received cups...

31-Oct: BGJ 189 Now Available in Members Area

The Autumn 2019 edition of the BGJ is now available for members to read.

15-Oct: Recent arrivals to UK take Northern

On a pleasant autumn day, Cheadle Hulme School once more hosted the 3-round "Northern" tournament, with 32 players competing - 11 of them CHS pupils. The latter included an intrepid foursome in the first year at CHS, who'd scarcely played on full boards before – but nonetheless had great fun, and learned a lot on the day! We were also pleased to see players who had travelled from as far as Edinburgh and Lincoln.

The overall winner was Jingchen Sun, a 3 dan from China, pictured receiving...

28-Sep: Peikai Xue Wins Swindon

Peikai Xue (2d London) won all three games to win the Swindon Tournament. 29 players took part at the now usual Conservative Club venue in Old Town. Jim Clare (1d Reading) was second on sos tie-break from Swindon's Tony Putman (1k) and Christian Scarff (1k), each with two wins. The only other player to win all three games was the London junior player Scott Cobbold (6k). Both he and Aidan Putman (1k Swindon) went home with "prestigious" trophies, Aidan's for the 13x13 side event.