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 match for the UK.
The line up was as below (Russia A - UK):
- Viacheslav Kaymin 6d - Yueran Wang 3d
- Virzhinia Shalneva 3d - Bill Shen 1d
- Savva Mezin 3d - Edmund Smith 3k
- Askar Khusainov 2d - Daniel Yang 1d
- Ruslan Tarasov 2d - George Han 3k
Yueran, Bill and Daniel put up a good fight, but ultimately were not able produce an upset, although Daniel's game did have a rather interesting ko at one point that might have turned the tables had there been a big enough ko threat on the board.
Surprisingly it was boards 3 and 5 that kept the spectators interested the most and produced the closest games, despite the bigger grade differences, with Edmund losing by 16.5 points and George losing by a very close 3.5 points.
Having lost to Russia we should have an easier time in the next match in December, where we should have the chance to try out some of our other newer squad members.
Follow the games on 14th December on KGS in room "Tournaments" > "Euro Youth Team"