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.
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 Maclennan (9k Twickenham). These players, plus the seven on 3 wins, were each able to choose two prizes, leaving everyone else with one.
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).
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 were Junnan beating Bruno in the first round and Andrew beating Tim in the second.
The event continues until Tuesday at the Young Chelsea Bridge Club, the home of the West London Go Club. The top two players earn places in the title match.
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 competition was won by Peter Collins, the only player brave enough to enter. The caption competition was won by Neil Cleverly, Paul Barnard was best at paper folding and Tony Atkins made the best jumping frog.
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 up dead fairly quickly.
Alex Kent on board two played Stanislaw Frejlak (4d).
Alex writes: Alas, I lost my game.
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.
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.
British Go Journal 175, including a report on the AlphaGo v Lee Sedol match, is now available online to members at http://www.britgo.org/bgj/bgj175
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 and stymied my lower side ambitions so I approach the top right, which was maybe bad direction (instead defend left side) as the side was open.