UK Youth Team Narrowly Lose to Czechia
The UK youth team played Czechia in their fourth and final match of the 2019/20 European Youth Go Team Championship (EYGTC) over the week up to 15th February.
Alison Bexfield, team captain, writes:
On paper we were fielding a team close in strength to those of our opponents, Czechia, with the grades slightly in our favour.
Board 2 was played earlier in the week and Scott Cobbold played well to win by 7.5 points in an evenly matched game. Board 3 played on the Friday and Alexander Hsieh had another closely fought game to lose by 7.5. Since this was a game we had expected to win, this raised the tension for the final three boards. So we went into today 1-1 needing to win two games to win the match.
Alexander Timperi was the first to finish on board 4. Despite being two grades adrift of his opponent, the early part of the game saw him taking an early lead with severe attacks on several of his opponent's groups. Unfortunately a slight miscalculation saw the game swing the other way with a Czechia win.
Board 5 saw Yanyi Xiong play a solid game to take a win. Although on paper Yanyi was two grades up on his opponent (15 kyu v 17 kyu), his opponent's online grade of 7 kyu suggested the difference in strength was more likely the other way round.
We needed a win on board 1, but unfortunately, despite a long hard fought game, Daniel Yang was unable to convert to a win. So we lost the match overall 2-3. This places us somewhere in the middle of the twelve teams.
This season has seen us fielding some strong dan players against the top European teams, as well as giving many of our newer less experienced players a chance to represent the UK against some of the weaker teams. This tournament format has proved surprisingly good over the years for encouraging our young players.