The 2015 British Youth Go Championships (BYGC) featured 34 competitors, aged from 6 to 17 (including two foreign players currently resident in the UK), with strengths from 2 dan to 35 kyu.
King Edward VI (Aston) School, Birmingham, was again the venue, thanks to Andrew Russell.
All games were played on full-sized (19 by 19) boards.
To determine the overall winner, Oscar Selby had to play and beat Alex Terry in a rapid play-off game.
Youth Champion: Oscar Selby (Alex Terry)
U18: Alex Benton (Kapriel Chiarini)
U16: Alex Terry (Hasan Nisar)
U14: Oscar Selby (Jack Nolan)
U12: Edmund Smith (Aidan Wong)
U10: Alexander Hsieh
U8: Jianzhou Mei (Andreas Ghica)
An interesting article from <re/code> by Mark Bergen:
"When the world’s smartest researchers train computers to become smarter, they like to use games. Go, the two-player board game born in China more than two millennia ago, remains the nut that machines still can’t crack.
Enter Google’s nerds. Demis Hassabis, the artificial intelligence savant behind Google DeepMind, hinted in a video interview that his secretive team has cracked Go."
The UK Youth Go team played Poland in the first round of the four round European Youth Online Team Championship and won 3-2. Lawrence had a tough game on board 1 against a strong dan player on the U18 board. However our strength in the U16s paid off with both Oscar and Alex winning their U16 boards. Both U12 boards were evenly matched in paper. Aidan had a close defeat but Alexander gained an easy win to clinch the match. The team will be playing Czechia next on 28 November.
The Autumn 2015 edition of the British Go Journal, number 173, is now available in the members' area as a PDF and should be soon arriving in the post with members (except for electronic only members).
The Three Peaks went very well at its current location of the Commodore in Grange-over-Sands, though it was a very wet and windy weekend. 32 players took part.
As organiser Bob Bagot is moving away from the town, next year will either have a new organiser or a new venue. Any volunteers contact Bob.
Jitka Bartova (2d Leamington) won the tournament with five wins out of five. Richard Hunter (2d Bristol) came second with four wins. Other prizes to Eggert Fruchtenicht (10k) for 5/5, Dave Horan (7k Chester) for 4/5 and Anthony Pitchford (10k Chester) for 3/4.
Roger Daniel gallantly declined the wine or chocolates offered to him for being the first to enter.
Ngoc-Trang Cao (3d), the strong French player from Leamington Club, won the 2015 Wessex. She beat Jim Clare, Sandy Taylor and Richard Hunter to take the title. The only other player of the 34 entrants to win all three games was Roella Smith (9k) from Cambridge Juniors.
As before the venue was St Mark's Community Centre in Bath and the day was very sunny with a chance to explore the city centre or watch the marathon runners at lunch time.
The twice-yearly London International Teams match was back after a break in the spring. This time it was held at the venue of the new West London Go Club, the Young Chelsea Bridge Club, near to Goldhawk Road underground station in Shepherd's Bush.
North London Go Club was run-away winner, their A-team only dropping one game. This means they have now won the last three such team tournaments. Cambridge was second by virtue of their team captain having more wins than that of the North London B-team, whilst a fierce battle for last place was won by Nippon.
Reading Go Club player Alexei Likhtman, 44, died yesterday whilst in the USA.
Alexei, a Physics professor at Reading University, was in Baltimore for a conference. On Sunday 11th October he was exploring the Appalachian Trail in Maryland and was taking photographs at a beauty spot called Annapolis Rock. It seems he was jumping from rock to rock with a camera and tripod when at about 10:45 he tripped and fell 50 feet. Despite the efforts of other hikers and paramedics he died at the scene.
Alexei had moved to the UK from Moscow and had been at Leeds University from 1999 to 2007, before moving to Reading. He was a keen member of Reading Go Club when not travelling and had played at Bracknell and Maidenhead Tournaments. He last played a tournament at 9k, though he was still improving quickly.
The first Sheffield Go Tournament was surprisingly well attended (by 39), which meant they could afford to make modest cash prizes to the winner and runner-up. The winner was Alistair Wall (2d) and the runner up was Paul Smith (1d). On three wins were Matt Marsh (5k), Colin Maclennan (9k) and youth player Zaki Betesh (15k). The youth players were also awarded prizes for two wins (Jacob Haynes (15k), Daniel Gascoyne (18k), Tom Bradbury (19k) and Adam Powell (22k)). Lily Danson won a prize for being the youngest female player in the tournament. In a 13 by 13 side tournament, the overall winner was 10-year-old Edmund Smith (8k) and 10-year-old Yusuf Hussain (22k) played the most games – both won small cash prizes.
There was a very exciting start to the British Go Championship Title Match on Saturday 26th September. It was between the top two players from the Challengers' League: Andrew Kay (5d) who is current Champion and Andrew Simons (4d). It was held in Cambridge, thanks to Geoff Kaniuk, with help of others from Cambridge Go Club, and was broadcast live on KGS.
By lunchtime, most people watching felt that Andrew Simons (playing black after winning nigiri) was comfortably ahead. However it was a quite remarkable game, with big exchanges and ko fights continuing right up to move 300.