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16-Feb: 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...

09-Feb: Strong Entry at Oxford

There was a strong entry at the Oxford Tournament. There were five players at 4d and above, and a further five at 3d; all bar one from Romania were of oriental origin. The event had changed back from May to its traditional February date, not far from Valentine's Day, with no clash as Cheshire is in March in 2020 and not February.

The venue was the same though, the former meeting house that is now Oxford Deaf & Hard of Hearing Centre, shown left, tucked behind the new Westgate Shopping Centre. This time 62 players took part, up from 57 last, but a further 14 novices...

06-Feb: UK Beat Struggling Lithuania

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...

04-Feb: Daniel Hu Fourth in European Finals

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.

Polish pro Mateusz Surma...

01-Feb: BGJ 190 Now Available in Members' Area

The Winter 2019-2020 edition of the BGJ is now available for members to read.

21-Jan: Go Player on "Midsomer Murders"

Rhubarb the Clown (aka Martin Solity 5k) appeared on ITV's "Midsommer Murders" on 14th January. In circus-themed episode 6 of series 20 "Send in the Clowns", Rhubarb is one of three clowns seen in the last scene of the episode.

21-Jan: UK Youth in Tight Match Against Romania

The UK youth team played Romania in their third round match of the 2019/20 European Youth Go Team Championship (EYGTC) over the weekend of 18th and 19th January.

Alison Bexfield, team captain, writes:

Romania are a strong team so we fielded our strongest players this round. The match was split over two days, Saturday and Sunday at various times.

First on board 1 Yueran was up against a very strong player (a 6 dan). He put up a really good fight with the online score estimate suggesting he was holding his own for much of the game but in the end the result went according to grade.

On board 3 our up and coming player Scott was playing a 2 dan. Scott has...

18-Jan: Fun and Games at Maidenhead

It was all fun and games at the Hitachi-Maidenhead Tournament. The selection of games available as prizes is shown left. Also non-playing organiser Alison kept other non-players and early finishers amused with various card and dice games. In the Go 35 players battled over three rounds with London's Peikai Xue (2d) being unbeaten to win the event. Runner up this time was Jon Diamond (2d), third was Jacob Zhang (4d) and fourth Kalle Timperi (1d). All those on two wins got the choice of one of the prize games, wine or cash as a prize, whereas those on three wins got two of the three choices....

16-Jan: President Wins at Harpenden

26 players (and a few hangers-on) attended the second Harpenden Go Tournament (previously the Welwyn Garden City Go Tournament) on Sunday 12th January, which had an upped entry level of 1 dan. It was held again in the Harpenden Arms Public House, which still had its Christmas Lights up to honour the tournament, which wouldn't have happened on last year's March date. Afterwards some of the players enjoyed dinner at a local Italian restaurant.


15-Jan: Team Loses to Switzerland

In the fifth match of the season, our team lost against Switzerland, dropping to sixth position in the B-League.

Andrew Simons wrote: I won my marathon game against Fabien Lips by resignation. It started with a fight from a modern double approach joseki, which got even more complicated when I thought my centre group was strong enough to make an attacking invasion to split his left side and corner. I made a little barely alive group in the gap which unsettled his and we jumped out with several one point jumps, which when he made a territorial move on the top I aimed to wedge and kill his group. He did spot that, but I got a big local profit in exchange. He surprised me by defending on the top, so I tried to surround and...

04-Jan: London Rengo is Not Boring

Nineteen participants ranging in age from mid-teens upwards, from eight countries took part in the traditional London Open Rengo tournament on the afternoon of New Year's Eve. We could have had eight teams, reports Jenny Rolf-Radcliffe, but that would have lent itself to a boring number of pairs. Thus we had two fours, three threes and one pair to make the games more interesting - after all, a large part of the fun of Rengo is to have games between teams of different sizes. This year was very balanced; at the end of three rounds there were no teams on zero wins and...

02-Jan: Daniel Hu and Sam Barnett are the Stars of the London Open

On the 28th December, dozens of people assembled in the capital for the London Open (the 46th), held this year for only the second time at the current London Go Centre. Despite the fact that more entrants were allowed this year (one hundred), there were a fair number of 'no-shows' which meant just 87 players actually took part. This was disappointing and unfair to the people on the waiting list who couldn't enter because the entry limit had been reached; organiser Gerry Gavigan will make sure that next year only those who have paid the full entry fee on booking will be guaranteed a place.

Sixteen countries fielded players with ages ranging 'from seven to seventy-seven'. The grades ranged from 7d to 16k; both stronger and weaker...

17-Dec: Match Against Finland Drawn

In the fourth match of the season, our team (the same players as the previous match) managed a draw against Finland, after a late substitution of a weaker player by them.

Andrew Simons wrote: I won my game against Javier-Aleksi Savolainen by 7.5 points. He played even more slowly than me in the opening, so it was a nice sensible game: after some AI-style josekis he shoulder-hit my not-in-the-middle extension and rather than jumping out he cut off my wall below. As it had made some standard kikashi earlier, I managed to get it out in ok shape; we ran for a bit (I think he shouldn't have let me get j12), he capped my group, but then I went for a small local life/connection, which was locally a bit sad but ok given I'd got a...

14-Dec: Matthew Scott Wins Edinburgh Christmas

This longstanding event returned with a bang this year. After several years of poor attendances there were 24 entrants, with a good spread of grades and seven players above the bar, set at 2k. The outright winner was Matthew Scott (1d) with 4/4. Prizes were awarded to all six players on 3/4: Joel Barrett (4k Manchester), Josh Gorman (4k Glasgow), Quinlan Morake (5k Glasgow), Yun Lu (8k Edinburgh), Frankie Higgs (11k Lancaster) and a visitor from Belgium, Alexandre Terefenko (6k). Nick Gotts (10k Edinburgh) also won a prize for being the highest DDK.


14-Dec: UK Youth Team Smash Netherlands

Alison Bexfield, team captain, writes:

The UK youth team played the Netherlands today in their second round match of the 2019/20 European Youth Go Team Championship (EYGTC). It was good to see a team from the Netherlands playing this year for the first time.

When choosing the team for each match I try to pick a team which has good winning chances, but also where the grade differences between players are likely to be close so that our players can develop their match play. The Netherlands team is much weaker in strength than our first round opponents (Russia), so we were able to play a different set of players from our squad of fifteen than the previous round. On paper...

02-Dec: Cheadle Hulme are Top British School

Cheadle Hulme School (shown left) proved they are the top British school for Go by both having the largest team at the British Youth Go Championships and by winning the Castledine Trophy. The top three of their 19-strong team won the team matches to get the trophy, beating Sir John Lawes School from Harpenden (3-0) and James Gillespie's High School from Edinburgh (2-1) (who beat SJL 2-1). The Best Junior School was Harpenden Academy, beating James Gillespie's Primary School (2-1).

The 2019 British Youth Go Championship (BYGC) was held in the marquee of Brownsover Hall, a...

19-Nov: 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...

04-Nov: Cambridge Wins Varsity Match

This year the Varsity Match between Oxford and Cambridge universities raised its profile, by having the match at the neutral venue of the London Go Centre.

The three-player teams played three rounds, with Cambridge emerging the winners by six boards to three.

The Oxford players were Alexandru-Petre Pitrop, Han Yang and Guodong Cao, and the Cambridge players were Tony Tunyang Xie, Doha Chris Lee and Zherui Xu. They are shown with non-playing John Bamford from Oxford University.

R1: Cao 0:1 Xie; Pitrop 0:1 Xu; Yang 1:0 Lee

R2: Pitrop 0:1 Lee; Yang 0:1 Xie; Cao 0:...

31-Oct: BGJ 189 Now Available in Members' Area

The Autumn 2019 edition of the BGJ is now available for members to read.

15-Oct: Recent arrivals to UK take Northern

On a pleasant autumn day, Cheadle Hulme School once more hosted the 3-round "Northern" tournament, with 32 players competing - 11 of them CHS pupils. The latter included an intrepid foursome in the first year at CHS, who'd scarcely played on full boards before – but nonetheless had great fun, and learned a lot on the day! We were also pleased to see players who had travelled from as far as Edinburgh and Lincoln.

The overall winner was Jingchen Sun, a 3 dan from China, pictured receiving...

28-Sep: Peikai Xue Wins Swindon

Peikai Xue (2d London) won all three games to win the Swindon Tournament. 29 players took part at the now usual Conservative Club venue in Old Town. Jim Clare (1d Reading) was second on sos tie-break from Swindon's Tony Putman (1k) and Christian Scarff (1k), each with two wins. The only other player to win all three games was the London junior player Scott Cobbold (6k). Both he and Aidan Putman (1k Swindon) went home with "prestigious" trophies, Aidan's for the 13x13 side event.