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27-May: Ke Jie Ends in Tears vs AlphaGo

AlphaGo won the third game of the the match bringing its opponent, Ke Jie, to tears and winning the match 3-0.

BBC Radio News reported that it had been announced that AlphaGo would no longer play humans.

On the previous day (Friday 26th) AlphaGo had beaten a team of Chinese pros, who could discuss the game, by resignation. Its only loss of the week was with a Chinese professional partner against itself and another Chinese professional partner in a Pair Go game.

26-May: AlphaGo Beats Ke Jie Twice in Match

The last man-machine match was held in Wizhen in China, between top Chinese play Ke Jie and Deepmind's AlphaGo. The first game on 23rd was very close with AlphaGo just winning by half a point. The second on 25th was a very complicated fight with AlphaGo winning by resignation to clinch the best-of-three match.

Also this week, Deepmind's founder, Demis Hassabis, was the guest on Radio 4's Desert Island Discs.

For more details of the match read the media reports in the national press or the Deepmind report which has game records at the bottom.

17-May: UK Team Ends Fourth in B League

The last round of the B-League on 16h May saw the UK playing Italy. Board one was played a day early. The match was drawn with wins on boards 3 and 4.

Andrew Simons wrote: I'm afraid I lost my game last night against Allesandro Pace. I was happy with how the opening went, and played a shoulder hit I'd seen in a Lee Sedol game to counter his influence strategy. Once I played the last big opening point on the left he played a strange attachment underneath and rather than directly answering I went for a leaning attack. He then played a loose move (f7 rather than f8, afterwards he said it was misclick) which allowed me to clamp to get the side but instead I got carried away and played what was essentially an endgame move at...

16-May: David Woodnutt

We have heard from Alex Eve that David Woodnutt died at home of bowel cancer on Saturday 6th May 2017, aged 69.

Alex writes: “In 1969 he was the first person for five years who I could play Go with who I hadn't taught. He had learnt Go from the New Scientist article in early sixties. He founded the Sussex University Go Club in 1969. I next met him in Buckingham, around which we both lived a long while, and renewed friendship.” He later moved to Kington in Herefordshire.

David was on the BGA Council from 1991 to 1995 and was the journal editor from issue...

15-May: BGJ 179 Now Available in Members Area

The Spring 2017 edition of the BGJ is now available for members to read.

14-May: Lucretiu Calota wins at Bracknell

The top player at the 39th Bracknell Go Tournament was Lucretiu Calota (4d St Albans) who beat Alistair Wall (1d Wanstead) in the final (pictured). Chao Zhang (5d London) and Jim Clare (1 dan Reading) took third and fourth places, and Paul Barnard (2k Swindon) took fifth with three wins. Others of the 36 players winning three were Casey Alexander (10k Arundel) , Alexander Hsieh (10k Cambridge Juniors), and Lueming Yang (20k Oxford).

Arundel won the team prize, by one win, over the junior team of "A Football Stuck in a Bush Squad". Nobody competed in the 13x13,...

01-May: Daniel Hu Wins Candidates'

The Candidates' Tournament was held over the April-May Bank Holiday weekend at the Young Chelsea Bridge Club in West London. 18 of the possible players took part to determine who would play in the next stage of the British Championship, the Challengers' League, on the next bank holiday at the same venue.

Thanks to the organiser, Matt Marsh, setting up a webcam. Chris Bryant was able to rebroadcast the top board game online and give a chance to see some of the game on YouTube. Also the players were able on the Sunday to help review some of the games in the parallel...

01-May: Bar-Low won by Alison Bexfield

After a year's break, the Bar Low tournament returned, thanks to organiser Jonathan Green at a new comfortable venue - The Young Chelsea Bridge Club, home of the West London Go Club. It was held as usual alongside the Candidates' Tournament.

Thanks to an anonymous donor, the entry fees were cheap, 17 players taking advantage of this. The generous prizes meant that more than half of the competitors made at least their entry fee back, as well as everyone taking home some sweet treats.

Alison Bexfield (1k, Letchworth) was the winner, having secured victory before the last round started. Roger Huyshe (5k, Manchester), Roger Daniel (7k, London) and Lueming Yang (23k, Oxford) also all did well, winning four games out of five...

26-Apr: UK Team Heads for Promotion Play-Offs

The 10th round of the B-League on 25th April saw the UK playing Austria. The match was drawn after some good play on boards 1 and 2.

Des Cann wrote: Very happy. Won by 1/2 pt against Viktor Lin ranked 24th on European rating list. He invaded my right-hand side Chinese twice, which was actually reasonable as I had tenukied. Then he leant on my bottom side and went for a severe attack on my small group in between his two groups. However he overplayed his hand and my group lived, cutting of some stones and connecting to my top right corner making it big. From then on he played hard everywhere testing me. It got quite complicated, but nothing fell off. System said I'd won by 12.5, but komi had defaulted to -5.5, so the...

24-Apr: Isle of Man Earlybird Extended

The Leo Phillips Isle of Man Go Festival is taking place from 30 July - 4 August 2017. Early bird discounted entries are available until 14 May so please enter soon to take advantage of the reduced price.

This popular event has been held 12 times since 1991 and gives you a chance to mix playing Go with sightseeing on the island. The timetable of tournaments allows you to choose how much time to spend playing Go and how much to spend on other things. And there is a range of side events including a continuous lightning tournament, rengo, 13x13 Go and a quiz. Port Erin, where the festival is held, is a delightful small seaside town in the south west of the island.

There are a lot of interesting things to see on the Isle of...

18-Apr: AGM Report

The short Annual General Meeting of the British Go Association was held at 20:00 on the Saturday evening of the British Go Congress in Cambridge.

The President, Roger Huyshe, chaired the meeting and, in his report, thanked Paul Barnard and John Collins who had stepped down from the roles of Membership Secretary and Online Committee Chairman, both after several years. He also stated that player development had taken a backseat due to DeepMind’s AlphaGo matches, but this year training sessions were being planned for the autumn.

The membership accepted his and the other officers' reports (including that of new Membership Secretary Chris Kirkham) and on the recommendation of the auditor, Pat Ridley, approved the accounts for...

14-Apr: Grand Prix Results

Stacey Grand Prix 2016-2017

Alistair Wall won for the third year running:

  1. Alistair Wall 36
  2. Toby Manning 24
  3. Andrew Simons 18

Youth Grand Prix 2016

The following get cash prizes thanks to John Rickard's family:

  1. Edmund Smith 1024
  2. Zaki Betesh 640
  3. George Han 621

Double Digit Kyu 2016

Prizes for the two sections go to:

10k-19k Alan Stokes 438 20k+ Joel Barrett 444

14-Apr: 50th British Go Congress Held in Cambridge

The fiftieth British Go Congress was held in Cambridge. The location was the very modern Centre for Mathematical Sciences which lies on its own campus near to Churchill College (which provided accommodation).

The event started on the Friday afternoon with a teaching session with tutors Toby Manning and Matthew Macfadyen. In the evening the Lightning Tournament was run on an extended round-robin system, after which the top two players played a final. Richard Mullens (6k) valiantly took second place to Xunrui Zhao (2d London).


07-Apr: Euro Pair Go Held in France

This annual championship for male-female pairs was held on the 1st and 2nd April in Strasbourg in France.

Winners were Natalia Kovaleva and Dmitry Surin from Russia winning all six games. Second were Germany’s Pei Zhou and Lukas Kraemer and third were the Russian professional siblings, Svetlana Shikshina and Ilya Shikshin.

The UK’s Joanne Leung and Bruno Poltronieri were eleventh out of 28. They beat a Slovakian and two French pairs, but lost to the Russian pros, the Romanian Pair and Ngoc-Trang Cao and Antoine Fenech of France.

Day 1 Report Day 2 Report

25-Mar: Gong Cheng Wins In Sunny Welwyn

The Bridge Club room at the Gosling Stadium was again the venue for the Welwyn Garden City Tournament. This year skies were blue and the sun was out cheering everyone along.

Winning the tournament with 3/3 was Gong Cheng, a Chinese 2d from London. Also winning three were Alan Thornton (2k St Albans) and Alexander Hsieh (15k Cambridge Junior). As there were lots of prizes left over, all those of the 18 entrants who won two and were at the prizegiving got a prize as well.


22-Mar: UK Climb to Third in Euro B-League

The 9th round of the B-League on 21st March saw the UK playing Switzerland. The match was won as Andrew Simons. Des Cann and Jon Diamond won, and only Bruno Poltronieri lost. As top team Poland beat second-placed Italy and all the other teams drew, the UK moved up to third place (just ahead of Austria on boards won).

Andrew Simons wrote: My game was against 4 dan Armel-David Wolff, who I'd met at the World Amateur last year. I thought the opening was slightly good for me once he didn't go for complications by pincering my bottom left approach and I invaded his dubious shape on the left side. Inspired by AlphaGo, I went for the kick and jump when he approached the top left, aiming to overconcentrate him on the side but he...

20-Mar: Eric and CHS Youth win Inaugural South Manchester Tournament

The first-ever South Manchester tournament was held on Sunday 19th March 2017. Despite the drizzle, much fun was had by all. Cheadle Hulme School (CHS) kindly allowed use of their dining hall for the day, and nine of their students enjoyed free tournament entry.

There were two non-playing organisers on hand all day: Mike Winslow (Head of Physics) welcomed attendees and presented prizes, while Martin Harvey of Manchester Go Club ran impromptu teaching lessons for some non-players. To accommodate several 10-15-year-olds, two separate tournaments were run on the same day. The Main tourney was a 3-round affair, while the Fast tourney consisted of...

13-Mar: Strongest Irish Confucius Cup

The 2017 Irish Confucius Cup took place in Dublin in the Ballroom Suite of the Gresham Hotel. It was the strongest yet, with two European professionals and three 7 dans taking part, and attracted 47 entrants from 15 countries. In addition Chen Rui (5p) and Yu Ping (2p) were visiting from China, and Guo Juan (5p) from Amsterdam, reviewing the players' games and playing simultaneous games.

The weekend started on the Friday night with the Irish Rapid; Zhiqing Zhang (5d) won, with Mariusz Klimczak (9k) in second place. The Saturday started with an opening ceremony and then the main tournament commenced. Alongside, as previous, there was a Chinese Chess tournament, a junior Chess match between Sussex and Ireland and downstairs a 150-...

06-Mar: Good Attendance at Novices' Tournament

On the afternoon of the Trigantius Tournament in Cambridge, the Trigantius Novices' was run in one of the other rooms of the University Staff Club.

This year there were fifteen players in the tournament, twelve juniors, two parents of junior players, and one organiser of a school Chess and Go club. Twelve of the fifteen are pictured. They played five rounds on 13x13 boards, working well as grades were in the range 20k to 40k.

The crucial match to decide the winner was between two of the adult players, Pierre Oliviere from Harpenden and...

06-Mar: Daniel Hu Wins Trigantius

A total of 45 players braved the chill to play in the 41st Trigantius tournament on 4th March this year. It was held as the last couple of years at the Cambridge University Social Club in the centre of the city.

Tournament winner was Daniel Hu (3d Central London) who beat local 4d Andrew Simons in the final. Daniel was duly presented with the Trigantius trophy, which he gets to look after for a year.

Other players gaining prizes for three wins were Edmund Smith (6k Cambridge) and Toby Manning (1k Leicester).

After a day plagued with computer troubles, organiser Geoff Kaniuk wrote: "A group of us managed to find a bar providing beverage and food for a well deserved evening meal."


01-Mar: UK Draw With Slovakia

The 8th round of the B-League on 28th February saw the UK playing Slovakia. Andrew Simons played another European pro, this time Pavol Lisy. Charles Hibbert had connection problems and so Sandy Taylor, as captain, had to take over on board two. The match was drawn as both these two lost, but Des Cann and Jamie Taylor won.

Andrew Simons wrote: I lost against Pavol Lisy 1p. In the opening he picked an unusual move to grab territory and I got a big wall for a side moyo, which he then wedged (not in the place that has a miai two-space extension out of respect for the wall, an advanced technique I'd studied recently). But, rather than settling on the side, he attached on top of my pincer and then pressured my corner, and I...

22-Feb: Youth Team Does Well at EYGC with DeepMind Support

The 22nd European Youth Go Championships were held this year in the alpine University town of Grenoble in France, with an impressive 229 entrants.

The UK team of 10 was co-ordinated by the British Go Association (BGA), accompanied throughout by the designated UK Team Leader, Martin Harvey from Manchester, and ably assisted by parents of 6 of the children.

Kindly sponsored by DeepMind (whose logo looked great on the smart, team hoodies they provided, as in the picture), the UK team faced players from 17 European countries, from as far...

19-Feb: Former Durham Player Beats Pro

Chi-Min Oh, the Korean 7d formerly based in Durham, won the 1st Ellie Cup in Grenoble by beating Ilya Shikshin, 1p, in the final. The game was watched by more than a hundred spectators on KGS and was full of action so they were not disappointed.

The event was held alongside the European Youth Go Championship (18th-20th February).


08-Feb: UK Draw With Top Team Poland

The 7th round of the B-League on 7th February saw the UK playing top-of-table team Poland. Andrew Simons played his game a week early to fit in with the schedule of his opponent, the European pro Mateusz Surma. On the night the rest of the team did well, with wins for Daniel Hu and Toby Jon Diamond, meaning the UK was the first team to take a point off the leaders with a draw. Both Italy and Austria won, total 12 points each (one behind Poland), and the UK were in fourth place with 10 points.

Andrew Simons wrote: Last week I unsurprisingly lost against Mateusz Surma, the new European pro. The opening was reasonable enough, with a big wall and counter-counter-pincer joseki, and to avoid him sacrificing on a small scale I...

30-Jan: Tony Goddard (1947-2017)

Jon Diamond writes: "I received a Facebook message on Sunday from Tony's sister saying that Tony had been found dead in his flat in Sheffield the previous day (28th January)."

"Tony was a long time Go player, who learnt in Cambridge more than 50 years ago. I last saw him last year at the British Open in Sheffield, where he’d been living for a number of years, but sadly he wasn’t playing. He had also only been to the Sheffield Club a few times recently."

"I have no other information about his death or funeral arrangements."

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