Youth Go News 34 - April 2024

Editor, Toby Manning.

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Hong Kong Match

This match ended on 17 February with Hong Kong winning the match 13-12. In the last game Scott Cobbold played well in a fighting game against Lee Ho Ham, but lost by 4.5.

European Youth

The European Youth Go Championships were held in Hamburg 21 to 23 March, with 98 entrants from 13 European countries – 38 of whom were under 12. There was a total of 23 dan strength players, 4 of whom were Under-12.

Of the UK contingent of 5 players, Ryan Zhang (3d) took 3rd place in the Under-12 group with 4/6, losing to two dan-players from Hungary and Czechia. Spike Shamoon (3k), our only representative in the Under-18 category, finished with 4/6, as also did Rachel Chik (15k).

Ryan Zhang, playing with Violeta Gorbulska (5k) from Ukraine, also came 3rd in the Pair Go.

Team captain Toby Manning thanked the Youth Go Trust for providing financial support to each of the UK participants.

Pandanet Youth Go European Team Championships

These Championships are being held on Wednesday evenings from February to June 2024. This is a new European team event and has strict eligibility requirements with all players having to be citizens of the country they represent (as opposed to qualifying through long term residence) and to be U18. Board 4 must be a female player and board 5 must be U12. The reason for these tighter criteria is that if the winning team is invited to compete in a world event then the players would need to be able to demonstrate citizenship of their country.

The format this year has nine countries participating. There are two leagues with four teams in League A and five teams in League B. The four teams in League A will play each other twice with the best placed team in this League being the 1st PYGETC Champion.

The teams were graded on the basis of the average rating of the top five boards. We have been seeded third and hence are playing in League A.

The team selection has a cut off at 10k this year. We have appointed Alison Bexfield as team manager. She has selected the team of ten players, from which five will play each match, as follows:

Scott Cobbold, Ryan Zhang, Lea Wong, Michael Mitcham-Harding, Yanyi Xiong, Andrew Volovich, Blake Shamoon, Derek Duan, Zoe Walters, Emily Gan.

In the first match, against Ukraine on 28 February, Scott Cobbold, Ryan Zhang, Michael Mitcham-Harding and Lea Wong all won and only Yanyi Xiong lost, to take the match.

Their second match on 13 March was won against Croatia 3-2. Scott Cobbold on board 1 had played his game early and secured a confident win meaning the UK only needed two wins from the remaining 4 games. On paper it was closely matched with all games within two grades. Both Yanyi Xiong on board 5 and Michael Mitcham-Harding on board 3 fought hard but lost their games to slightly stronger opposition. Lea Wong on board 4 had an exciting game to take a win meaning it all came down to the final game. Ryan Zhang again showed that he is on form and an improving player by taking a good win against his 3d opponent.

In round three, on 3 April against Romania, Blake Shamoon, in his debut appearance, finished first on board 5 with a comfortable win against an opponent one rank lower than him. Zoe Walters, also playing for the first time, started well on board 4 but could not hold her off higher ranked opponent. Ryan Zhang on board 2 and Michael Mitcham-Harding on board 3 were evenly matched against their opponents with Ryan winning by 7.5 and Michael losing by 7.5. It all came down to the final game on board 1. Scott played another exciting and long game, ultimately clinching victory (and the match for the UK) by just 1.5 points.

At the half way mark the UK is unbeaten and leading the tournament. However the matches have all been tight and could have gone either way. So the pressure remains for the remaining matches.


British School Teams

This had been planned for during the Easter holidays which, of course, is not good for schools. We will be contacting those likely to enter teams to find a convenient date during the forthcoming term. Watch the BGA web site or contact Paul Smith if you would like to enter a team: or text 07503 898934.

UK Go Challenge

Why not enter your school or junior club in to the UK Go Challenge for 2024? As usual heats can be run over five rounds on 13x13 at your leisure. If you enter we can send you a pack of small prizes free of charge.
The finals for 2024 will be in Cambridge on 20th October.

OGS Online Meetings

A reminder: you are invited to join a regular session for youth Go players on OGS hosted by Cambridge Junior Chess and Go Club. These take place on Tuesday afternoons and in the Summer term will now be 5:30pm until 7:00pm (players can drop in at any time during this period) in the Cambridge Junior Chess & Go Club group. Before you come for the first time, please set up an OGS username if you haven't already got one and let us know it so we can invite you to the group and send you a link to the Zoom call which we have during the meeting. In order to do this, or for any other information/questions please contact Paul, email or text 07503 898934.


DDK Teaching (for weaker players, below 9 kyu)

The next DDK teaching session will be on 19 May at 14:30. If you wish to attend please email ynews AT before 18 May.

Youth Summer Camp

This is again being held at the PGL centre at Caythorpe near Grantham in Lincolnshire, from 14 to 17 August. It will have the usual mix of adverture activity, Go teaching and playing. The entry form is now available. Flyer for 2024


19 May DDK teaching (online)
TBA British School Teams (online)
14 - 17 August - Youth Camp at Caythorpe
20 October - UK Go Challenge Finals (Cambridge)
9 November - British Youth Go Championships, Leicester


Here are some useful resources/links:

BGA Youth Go Twitter ("X") account (kept fairly active, 313 followers)
BGA Youth Go OGS (closed group, 155 members including adult organisers). If you are a new member, please complete this form.
BGA Youth Go Discord Channel
BGA Website: Junior Pages


Black to play



Last updated Mon Apr 15 2024.
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