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The first CCTV World Youth Amateur Online Weiqi Tournament was in two sections, the first being for youth teams. Jayden Ng, Scott Cobbold and Caleb Monk played the seven qualifying rounds over each weekend from late October to mid-December on the Chinese server Yike. They beat Colombia, lost to China, France and close matches against Croatia and Hungary. They then beat Argentina and Slovakia to end thirteenth out of 22. The teams making the knockout stage were both China teams, Singapore, Russia, France, Ukraine, Malaysia and Canada. The teams from Germany, Thailand, USA and Hungary finished just above the UK. The semis saw the two China teams face off and Singapore take on and beat Russia.
In the 26-player junior individual section our player Ryan Zhang did very well. He won his first three beating Yuki Kouchi of Japan, Liu Zijia of China and Julie Blondeau of France. He then lost to Vsevolod Ovsiienko of Ukraine and Takuya Kawabata of Japan.
In the December round two match of the European Youth Go Team Championship, our UK youth team lost 2-3 against Romania.
Sam Barnett beat Dragos Boldeanu by 13.5 and George Han won easily against a 13k, Nicolas Petrascu. However Jacob Zhang narrowly lost to Denis Dobranis by 9.5, whilst Scott Cobold and Daniel Chung Yang both lost by resignation to Stefan Rotarita and Robert Grosu respectively.
In the European Youth Go Team Championship, our UK youth team won 4-1 against Ukraine.
George Han played his game early and beat Mariia Chernova by 6.5. On the day of the match, Daniel Chun Yang lost to Vsevolod Ovsiienko but Jacob Zhang beat Valerii Krushelnytskyi, both by resignation against higher-graded dan players. Lea Wong won her game against Bohuslav Onyshchuk by 24.5 to ensure the match was won. Sam Barnett rounded off the match on the following Tuesday by beating Olesia Malko by 23.5.
This meant the UK took second place overall, the first time we had been in the top three. Russia beat Czechia in the last round and, as predicted, took first place (having won the event for six of its seven-year history). Romania beat Hungary and took third place.
Team manager Alison Bexfield said: "I am really pleased that all of our team were able to play in at least one of our four matches.
Alison Bexfield writes:
In the European Youth Go Team Championship, our UK youth team won 5-0 against Turkey.
Having narrowly lost to Romania in round 2 we were facing a relatively inexperienced team from Turkey. This gave us the chance to offer a game to those members in the squad who had not played in the first two rounds.
Even though on paper we comfortably outranked our opponents on every board, the lack of over the board rated games during lockdown means that the stated grades do not always reflect reality for rapidly improving young players and so we could not be complacent.
However, our team of Jayden Ng (Under 20), Edmund Smith (Under 16), Lea Wong (Under 16 - actually under 12, but was playing up), Yanyi Xiong and Alexander Timperi (both Under 12) all played solidly to deliver a 5-0 win for the UK.
There is one round remaining in the tournament.
The 2020 British Youth Go Championship (BYGC) featured 36 competitors, aged from 7 to 17. It was held over six rounds in the BGA Youth Group on OGS. The youth champions title stayed at Cheadle Hulme School, as did the Castledine Trophy for the best team, when Sam Barnett won all six games to take the title. Edinburgh's James Gillespie's Primary School was the top junior school. Section winners (runners-up) and other notable results are shown below. Results
U18: Jayden Ng (Yuji Chen)
U16: Scott Cobbold (Edmund Smith)
U14: Sam Barnett (Oliver Bardsley)
U12: Daniel Yang (Isabella Qiu)
U10: Alexander Timperi (Andrew Volovich)
U8: Ryan Zhang (Lukasz Kudla)
Youth Champion: Sam Barnett (Ryan Zhang, Jayden Ng/Scott Cobbold)
Top Open Section Player: Yuji Chen (Isabella Qiu).
Winners of five games: Rohan Neelala, Julia Volovich, Odysseas Jones-Roumeliotis, Caleb Monk.
The UK youth team has played its first match in the European Youth Go Team Championship. We were drawn against the relatively strong French team so we knew we needed to field our strongest team.
Unfortunately Ryan was not able to play in the U12 section, but Lea Wong stepped up making her debut appearance for the team. On paper we were in with a chance although it looked likely to depend on some very even games, but with grades potentially being out of date due to lockdown it was going to be tough.
Lea played first on board 5 and did well to secure a win by 2.5 points. Jacob stepped up next on board 1 playing a French 3 dan. I watched his game and it was a masterclass in how to convert a big central area into territory to take a comfortable win. So we were 2-0 up, needing one more win, but we expected to be slightly outgraded on the last three boards.
George and Daniel finished their games next, each losing.
I am pleased to announce our UK Youth Go Team for this year's European Youth Go Team Championship is as follows:
Jacob Zhang 3dan
Jayden Yui-Him Ng 1 dan
Sam Barnett 2k
Edmund Smith 3k
Scott Cobbold 3k
Daniel Chun Yang 1d
Ryan Zhang 2k
George Han 3k
Lea Wong 5k
Yanyi Xiong 9k
Alexander Timperi 10k
This youth team tournament is played over four rounds with five boards in each match of which one must be U20, two U16 and two U12. Despite losing two of our strongest players from last year (Yueran Wang and Bill Shen) to the pressures of sixth form exams, this is still our strongest team yet. The grade boundaries for the U16 and U12 selection have both moved up.
The online youth event for October, held on the afternoon of Sunday 4th, was the delayed finals of the 2019-2020 UK Go Challenge. 33 young players battled over six rounds on 13x13 boards. This time the winner was Ryan Zhang from London. Second was Cyrus Hi Him Shek from Ayrshire and third was Gene Wong from Fern Hill Primary School, on tie-break from Scott Cobbold and Lea Wong (Top Girl). David Baldwin and Caleb Monk, both 11k, notably won five games.
We held our second online British youth training tournament today, reports Alison Bexfield. Any British youth player who has reached at least 20 kyu in strength is invited to these events, where we run a three round tournament online with even games to test the players in tournament conditions and see who has been improving. We expect players wanting to be selected for the British Youth Team to try to participate in these events.
This was our second such event. We were missing some of our top players who were in transit back to schools, but still had an excellent turnout of 32 players (including our ghost). This time we had a closely fought top group with six players all around 3 kyu in strength. This group included a couple of players who have risen rapidly in strength over the past six months. One of these rising stars, Sam Barnett (U16, Cheadle Hulme), was undefeated to take first place.