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25-Jun: Jitka Wins at a Showery MK

The Milton Keynes Tournament moved to a new location within the Open University campus, as someone had thought the weather suitable for cricket making the pavillion not available. The split-level foyer to the Berrill Building provided a very light and pleasant location (except when the dark clouds rolled in), with the lower level suitable for coffee, analysis and game of MK Go. Admittedly there was a lot of sunshine between the heavy rain and it didn't spoil the day of Go-playing.


22-Jun: Wenshi Chen Wins Brian Timmins Plaque

The 24th Welsh Open was held again at the now-traditional venue of the Min-y-Mor Hotel, in the coastal resort of Barmouth. For those who arrived early, on the sunny Friday, there were friendly games and refreshment in the hotel during the evening. On the also sunny Saturday, there was the usual evening meal held at the hotel, enjoyed by 24 of the players, and the fun continued into the night on the wet Sunday, after the tournament.

There were 35 players in all in the Welsh Open, with 8 players above the bar, at shodan or stronger, competing for a new trophy...

15-Jun: Alex Kent Wins Yet Another Goat Ornament

The Durham Go Tournament was again this year held in the middle of the World Heritage Site on Palace Green, overlooked by both Durham Cathedral and Durham Castle, reports organiser Andrew Ambrose-Thurman.

The tournament had a large number of entrants, including two people who had not only never played in a tournament before but who had never played over the board before. They brought the total to 33, an unexpectedly large increase on last year, and playing was so crushed during Round 1 that we had to go out and obtain more tabletops before Round 2.

On the...

13-Jun: Andrew Simons wins 5 at World Amateur Go Championship

Andrew Simons (4d) ended in 21st place of 56 for the UK at the 37th World Amateur Go Championship, held in Wuxi, China, from 5th - 8th June.

In the first round he lost to Csaba Mero (6d) of Hungary, then beat Supravat Pal (1k) of India. Jet-lag and a malfunctioning alarm clock meant he overslept and forfeited his third game against Santiago Espinosa-Uribe (4d) of Colombia, but he then beat Gabriel Hissao Makio (1d) of Brazil. Next he lost to Jürgen Suntinger (3d) of Austria before beating John Gibson (5k) of Ireland (who finished on 2 wins, beating India and...

05-Jun: New British Pair Go Champions

The British Pair Go Championships returned to the Red Lion in Hatfield and the organisers, Francis Roads and Jenny Radcliffe, were very pleased at the increase to 16 pairs, 8 in each section.

There were three new pairs in the top championship section. One of these was an all junior pair, believed to be the first time this has happened. Champions of the last few years, Matthew Cocke and Natasha Regan, lost to one of the new pairs in round 2, setting up an all new pair final.

In the final it was Joanne Leung and Bruno Poltronieri (pictured...

31-May: Two New Challengers

The eight qualifiers for this year's Challengers' League tournament met at the Young Chelsea Bridge Club (the venue used by the West London Go Club) from Saturday to Tuesday for the 7 round all-play-all tournament. Junnan Jiang and Charles Hibbert finished with six wins each, meaning that no play-off game was required and the two of them will now go on to play in the British Championship title match games. Andrew Simons, the reigning British Champion finished on 4 wins, and given that neither Junnan or Charles have competed for the title before we are guaranteed a new champion this year.


30-May: Hongyi Chen Wins Scottish Open

The Scottish Open remained in Glasgow for a fourth year, at the Gilchrist Postgraduate Club. It was again sponsored by the local Confucius Institute.

Hongyi (Henry) Chen (2d Glasgow) won all 6 of his games to top the list of 21 players, winning the trophy and bottle of Talisker. Closest to matching this perfect score was 13-year-old Josh Gorman (13k Glasgow), who came up short at the last to finish on 5 wins.

On 4 wins were the runner-up, Toby Manning (1d Leicester), plus Rob Payne (6k Edinburgh), David Storkey (7k Exeter) and Colin...

30-May: Tokyo Go "Camp" Announced

The Nihon Ki-in have announced the first Summer Go "Camp" in Tokyo. This is similar to the one that runs in Osaka (dates of the 4th Osaka camp and the associated congress below). In Tokyo events are centred round the Nihon Ki-in and the first game in the Meijin match, the Takara Shuzo Tournament for amateurs and a friendship match against students. The lectures will be provided by very well-known Japanese pro players including Kobayashi Koichi 9p, Ishida Yoshio 9p, Michael Redmond 9p and Ichiriki Ryo 7p!

See the flyer or the web page below.

Summer Camps/Congresses in Japan 2016:

26.06.2016 14.07.2016...

28-May: Charles Hibbert Takes Early Lead in Challengers'

Charles Hibbert took an early lead on day one of the Challengers' League. In the first game he beat the British Champion, Andrew Simons, who complained he has got into a habit of losing the first game in an event. Then in the second game Charles beat the top graded player, Junnan Jiang, when a group died in overtime.

Also winning their first two games were Alex Rix, who beat Alistair Wall and then Bruno Poltronieri by 1.5 points, and Des Cann, who beat Tim Hunt and Alistair Wall (the latter through an interesting tesuji).

The other results...

22-May: Wall Wins the Bracknell

Alistair Wall (2d Wanstead) won all his games to win the 38th Bracknell, the first time he has won the event. He beat Christian Scarff, Jim Clare and last year's winner Des Cann. Also winning all three were Eric Hall (5k Swindon) and John Cassidy (8k Belgium). Among the 26 players taking part were Bei Ge's two very young daughters, playing their first game not among the family. Bournemouth won the team prize.

As usual there was the fun selection of side events set by organiser Ian Marsh. The 13x13 was easy to judge as nobody entered and the Go puzzle...

18-May: Our Team Stays Fifth at End of Season

Congratulations to the BGA team who managed a draw against a strong Polish team to keep fifth place, out of twelve, in the Pandanet Go European Team Championship B-League.

Bruno Poltronieri played board one and had to play the European pro Mateusz Surma.

Bruno writes: I lost. I felt the opening went fairly well. I generally managed to lead it towards the kind of game I am comfortable with. Unfortunately I let my nerves get the better of me and spent far too much time quite early on. I entered byoyomi around the time Surma started to attack a lone stone I had on the top side (which I probably should have defended earlier anyway). At that point I made several bad decisions and ended...

02-May: Junnan Jiang Wins Candidates'

Junnan Jiang (5d Oxford) won the Candidates' Tournament in Letchworth with a perfect six wins. Second with five wins was Bruno Poltronieri (4d Cambridge). Winning four were both players from Central London Go Club: Alex Rix (3d) and Charles Hibbert (3d). Belfast's James Hutchinson (2d) and Milton Keynes' Tim Hunt (2d) topped the group on three wins. These six can join defending champion Andrew Simons and Des Cann, who missed the Challengers' League last year for the World Amateur, in this year's Challengers' League in London at the end of May.


30-Apr: British Championship - Candidates'

The 2016 British Championship started in April 2015. All those who played in tournaments between April 2015 and March 2016 and ended with an EGF rating of 1900 or higher and obeyed the nationality and membership rules could play in the Candidates' Tournament in Lechworth from 30th April to 2nd May. 16 players so qualified started out on the first day. Results so far.

30-Apr: British Go Journal 175

British Go Journal 175, including a report on the AlphaGo v Lee Sedol match is now available online to members at

27-Apr: Our Team Gets a Fourth Win for the Season

The British team moved up to a creditable fifth position in the B-League by scoring their fourth win of the season. The time it was against Switzerland.

In a late change Andrew Simons played John Walch (3d) on board 1. Andrew writes:

In my game against John Walch we both played slowly and carefully (I got into overtime before move 100 and him not long after), but he made a mistake right at the end which allowed me to snatch a victory from the jaws of defeat. I avoided a book opening by ignoring his 4-4 approach to approach his 3-4, we had some reasonable josekis. When I pressed his 3-4 he attached and I didn't hane as he had the ladder. He backed out of playing a complicated variation in that corner...

24-Apr: Winning Song at Welwyn

24 players attended the sixth Welwyn Garden City tournament on 23rd April, a bright spring day, at the Welwyn Garden City Bridge Centre in Gosling Sports Park. The winner was Song Han (2d), who won the deciding third round against Alistair Wall, the previous winner. Also winning all three games were Richard Mullens (6k) from London City Go club and Sergio Rubio (9k) from Spain. Francis Roads won the 13x13 side tournament and a prize for best young player went to Charlotte Bexfield from Letchworth. Some players adjourned afterwards to a local Chinese restaurant.


Photos available on...

11-Apr: The British Go Association has a new President

At the AGM on 2nd April in Sheffield, Jon Diamond retired as President after 7 years and Roger Huyshe (pictured) was elected unanimously to replace him.

Jonathan Chin and Toby Manning were re-elected as Secretary and Treasurer respectively.

Brian Brunswick also retired after 10 years as a Council member, as did Donald Campbell; John Collins, Jonathan Green, Matt Marsh and Andrew Russell were elected to Council.

It was reported at the AGM that the membership had increased in the last year to 441, the first time we'd seen an increase for a number of years. The AlphaGo match didn't seem to have a significant impact on...

06-Apr: Our Team Wins Against Italy

Congratulations to the British Go Association team who beat Italy by three games to one in the online Pandanet Go European Teams. With just two matches to play, their new sixth position (just behind Italy on third board score tie-break) is enough to keep them in the B-League for next season.

Bruno Poltronieri wrote about his win by resignation against Alessandro Pace:

Not a great game from me, but I somehow managed to pull off a win by a couple of points (if we ignore the part where he accidentally let me live in his territory while we were fighting the last 1 point ko...). My main mistake of the game was not living under his shimari before it was too late, which left him with a pretty huge territory. I...

05-Apr: Ziyi Zhang wins the British Open

The British Go Congress was held over three days the first weekend in April at the Royal Victoria Hotel in Sheffield. Andrew Kay started the event with a teaching session on Friday afternoon, followed by a well attended presentation by Lucas Baker from Google DeepMind who explained a bit about the recent successes of AlphaGo and showed us its 9 dan diploma (pictured).

In the evening, 26 players took part in the British Lightning tournament which was eventually won by Andrew Kay followed by Alison Bexfield as the runner up.

On Saturday and...

09-Mar: UK beats Slovakia while the world holds its breath...

Whilst the world was holding its breath waiting for the start of the Google DeepMind Challenge in Seoul there were some more prosaic games of Go being played - the latest round of the Pandanet European Go Team Championship.

The UK has got off to a poor start in the second division, but with our latest 3-1 win over second-placed Slovakia we're gradually hauling ourselves up the table.

Andrew Simons was our sole loss, not totally unexpectedly to to 1 dan pro Pavol Lisy, but our other three (Bruno Poltronieri, Alex Kent and Charlie Hibbert) all scored good wins to round off the match.

Andrew Simons said: "My game was rather like my first game of the British Championship, a disappointing loss after...