Foreign Tournament Report
In the second match of the new season in the B-League, the UK played and beat Sweden by three games to one. It was a long evening for the spectators as the top board was scheduled one hour after the others and that game lasted three hours.
Previous league leaders Germany lost four-nil to Italy (including two no-shows) and so the UK moved up to first place, the only team to win both matches so far.
Daniel Hu wrote: I had a toughish game against Charlie Åkerblom, spending too much time thinking in the opening and not with a great result. I tried playing a bit more solidly with my shape. My opponent made a largish moyo but I got out with weak group one into the centre in sente and invaded with a ladder breaker. My opponent capped, letting me pull out the ladder stone and attack the weaknesses on both sides.
In the first match of the new season of the Pandanet Go European Team Championship B-League the UK beat Belgium three games to one. There were wins for Daniel Hu, Alex Kent and Jamie Taylor, their game reports are below. This placed UK second behind Germany who beat Croatia four-nil and just ahead of Finland who beat Netherlands.
Jamie wrote: Against Gabriel Mercier I managed to isolate a nice chunk of stones fairly early on, but then messed up the capture a bit, giving away some nice influence in exchange unnecessarily. I thought I was only a bit ahead after that, but my opponent played some slow moves and let me neutralize the influence to get comfortably ahead. I lost the ability to read towards the end and let him capture some important stones but my opponent seemed to be having the same difficulty and I managed to hold on to the lead and win by resignation.
As they finished second in the Pandanet Go European Team Championship C-League, to get promotion Ireland had to beat the B-League's ninth placed team, Sweden.
Board one was played early on Sunday 14th May and Karl Irwin lost to Sweden's Charlie Åkerblom by resignation. The other four boards played on the Tuesday, 16th May, and Philippe Renaut beat Martin Li, also by resignation, to make the match one all. Matei Garcia's game ended when Tiger Hillarp lost on time in a complicated game with huge territories and dead groups, but James Hutchison struggled against Robin Nilsson, eventually resigning. This meant it was all down to the last game between Ian Davis and Anton Silfver. This was a very close and long game, but unfortunately an error in the small yose saw Ian lose a point and the game by half a point.
Our team’s last match of the season was against Belgium. If we won then we would jump above them into fifth. A loss would move us down near, but just above, the relegation zone. Jon Diamond finished quickly and Des Cann finished slowly, being the last game of the B-League season to end. His game was a win which went with Jamie Taylor’s to make the match a draw. The team stayed to sixth (on tie-break from Switzerland) to end the league comfortably in the middle. Serbia saw off demoted Lithuania to take the top place, and Italy drew with Switzerland to get the promotion play-off place. The most important game of the evening saw the Netherlands beat Sweden, allowing the former to escape the relegation game in favour of the latter.
Andrew Simons wrote: I lost to Lucas Neirynck, returning to my bad old habit of losing on time after unnecessary complications during overtime in a game that I was leading.
In their eighth match of the season the UK played against Italy. The first three games to finish went Italy's way, but the last game ended with a win for Andrew Simons after nearly three hours of play. This loss moved the team down to sixth out of ten, with just the final mach against Belgium on 19th May to go.
Andrew Simons wrote: My game against Matias Pankoke was the opposite of Jon's and Alex's: we had a modern AI joseki, following my attachment against his big low shimari and he made a slight overplay, with the L14 hane instead of extend, and then a big one with the atari which meant his corner turned into mine. As I had a sizeable lead I tried to simplify the game with early settling of my groups (kick and kosumi bunker style) and thick play to avoid any fights (I lost against Matias in the play-offs last year when he out-fought me).
Report up to end of Friday 13th March from team captains Martin and Helen:
The European Youth has finished day two, so they have completed four rounds, and tomorrow will be the final day, when they wiĺl play rounds five and six. Out of the 48 games the twelve UK children have played, we had 27 wins, 2 byes, 19 losses.
We have three unbeaten players! The two players on four wins are Lawrence Baker (19k, U12), and Julia Volovich (18k, U16). Lizzy Pollitt (15k, U16) is on three wins and a bye. Also, all the UK players have won at least one game.
Everyone is enjoying themselves, and team spirits are high. As well as us, there are 11 parents with us, so we have been able to review most games.
A fuller report, with photos, will follow after the tournament. We are scheduled to fly home on Sunday 15th March.
The results can be seen on the EYGC website.
A player currently living in Ireland, Lucas Zhirui Ye (2d), dominated the Irish Go Congress held in Dublin at the Teachers' Club. He won both the Irish Rapid Play on the Friday evening and the Irish Open. In both he was unbeaten, adding the the five games he won to win the Cork Tournament in November, taking his run to 15 wins. The were 25 players in this year's Open. Results
A longer story with pictures is on the Irish Go website.
In round 7 of the League, our team came up against the top placed team Serbia. Jon Diamond played a day early and lost, and despite playing well the other three lost too, losing the match four-zero. This result saw the team drop one place to fifth.
Bruno Poltronieri wrote: I lost to Dusan Mitic after a pretty bad misread. Overall I’m actually fairly happy with the game. I started a running fight quite early on the right side. At some point my opponent gave me a chance to trade territory at the bottom for a wall facing the top side, which I took. I think that was the wrong choice and I’m probably a bit behind here, but at least it simplified the game. I managed to cut off part of his group in the top left, but that allowed him to try something in my territory. That’s where I misread and lost big. According to Leela his attempt actually shouldn’t work, and I’d be ahead if I countered it correctly! Oh well.
Alex Kent wrote: I lost by 4.5 points to Nikola Mitic.
For the February match, the BGA team was up against a struggling Lithuania. Promoted from the C-League for this season, their team has been struggling and, with only one draw and no wins, they are sitting bottom of the B-League. As a consequence they were reluctant to turn out to play and only one board was contested in our match, with Sandy Taylor, Des Cann and Jamie Taylor having no opponents. This win moved our team up to fourth place.
Alex Kent wrote about his game against Vladas Zaleskas: I won the sole game that was played this evening. I played a more solid opening this time and got a good position where I didn't have too much to worry about. I made some slack moves on the left side and allowed my opponent's nominally weak group some breathing room (it had a potential connection to the upper-left corner), but I still got to use it as a springboard into the centre.
Sixteen top European players qualified to the 3rd European Grand Prix Finale by earning qualifying points from the top European tournaments of 2019. They met up at Leksand in Sweden in January to battle over six rounds, starting with four-player groups, followed by a knock-out stage.
Daniel Hu's great result at the London Open meant he could take part and he had an excellent tournament. He topped Group D, beating two pros, Pavol Lisy and Tanguy Le Calvé, but losing to Stanislaw Frejlak of Poland. He then beat France's Benjamin Dréan-Guénaïzia to reach the semi-finals. This he lost to the Ukrainian pro Artem Kachanovskyi, then he lost again to Stanislaw Frejlak in the play-off to end fourth.