Go in Britain: 2005
2005 was celebrated as the BGA's 50th anniversary. In reality 1955 was probably about half way between the founding of London Go Club and the claimed founding of the BGA by John Barrs, and the actual emergence of the BGA into Europe later in the decade. A celebratory cake was eaten at the BGA AGM, but the main event was the anniversary picnic in London in July. This was held in Green Park in lovely weather before moving on to the British Museum afterwards. The BGA also hosted the European Pair Go Championships in historic Berkshire as part of the celebrations.
A 60th anniversary was remembered in August when the Imperial War Museum put on a weekend display of Go in memory of the Atom Bomb Game of 12th August 1945 between Iwamoto and Hashimoto. Peter Wendes and others did a weekend of teaching and professional player Miss Shinkai Hiroko (a pupil of Iwamoto) visited in the company of Yuki Shigeno.
Peter Wendes reached his first 10000 teaching target during the year and the youth work continued to expand. Professional player Yuki Shigeno made two more visits to England in the autumn: to the Women's Training Weekend and to the London Open. Disappointingly the BGA membership slipped back from 700 to 650, partly caused by delays in producing British Go Journals during a change of editor.
British Go Congress
The British Go Congress was held in Leicester on a cherry tree lined campus south of the city. Winner of the Open Championship was Tony Goddard from Sheffield. The British Lightning was won for a second year by David M. King from Swindon. The Nippon Club Cup moved slightly out of London to be won by the Farnborough Village Go Club from Kent. Francis Roads regained the Stacey Trophy for most wins during the year. At the BGA's Annual General Meeting, President Simon Goss and his team were re-elected for another term.
There were new regional events at Liverpool, Fife and the London School of Economics. Some old favourites such as Leamington, Leicester and Letchworth were not held so the number of events was about the same as before. Li Shen, the Chinese teenager living in London, was top winner with four events: Maidenhead, Oxford, Cambridge and Epsom. Two Milton Keynes players won two each: Bei Ge won at home and at Swindon; Tim Hunt won the MSO Rapid and tied at Durham with Francis Roads. The winners of the other events were: Toby Manning (Cheshire), Hun He (LSE), Kwak Heung-Soon (Bracknell), Matthew Macfadyen (Welsh Open), Qi Chen (Liverpool), Jakub Zborowski (Scottish), Alistair Wall (Northern at the MSO), Ian Marsh (Cornwall), Des Cann (Wanstead), Alex Rix (Wessex) and Tony Goddard (Three Peaks).
Handicap and Barlow events were won by: Jon Tims (Cheshire), Matthew Reid (Cambridge Bar-Low), George Leach (Liverpool), Robbie Miller (Fife), Jonathan Englefield (Cornwall), Natasha Regan (West Surrey) and Neil McLean (Scottish Barlow). Alex Selby won the British Small Board at Cambridge.
Matthew Cocke and Natasha Regan were first time winners of the British Pair Go title. The event was again at Boars Hill in Oxfordshire, but held later in the year because of the European Pair Go Championships. British Handicap group winners were father and daughter, Paul and Maria Tabor. The EPGC was hosted by the BGA at the Hitachi Europe in Maidenhead. 12 countries were represented. One of the German Pairs (Benjamin Teuber and Lisa Ente) won the title after a three-way tie. Germany were also second, Russia third and Czechia fourth. Top British pair, Matthew Cocke and Natasha Regan, was in fifth. The Tabors won the handicap section ahead of the Italian pair. In the first Triangle Tournament (2 on 1) alongside was won by Paul Blockley. No pair took part in the World Amateur Pair Go Championships in Japan, but Tony Atkins was there as guest official.
18 players took part in the Candidates' Tournament in Leamington Spa. It was won by Jon Diamond and Kiyohiko Tanaka, who with three others, moved forward to the Challenger's League held at Trinity College in Cambridge. Des Cann won all his games to become the challenger, but lost the title match in three straight games to Matthew Macfadyen. All games were broadcast live on the Kiseido Go Server, being played at Epsom, Milton Keynes and Wanstead. Des Cann will as a consequence be the representative in the 2006 World Amateur; David Ward played in the 2005 edition in Nagoya winning 3 games (44th place).
The Youth Championship stayed in Aston and attracted a record 73 players. William Brooks was the Youth Champion, also winning under-16 and beating Matthew Macfadyen in a demonstration game. The other age group winners were Jonathan Englefield, Sadhvik Vijay, Chun-Hin Woo, Chun-Yin Woo and Thomas Meehan. The Woos had travelled from Hong Kong especially for the event. The Castledine Trophy was again won by hosts King Edward VI (Aston) School. The Youth Grand Prix continued and was won by Maria Tabor, ahead of William Brooks and Jonathan Englefield. The second UK Go Challenge was held at 18 schools and involved more than 500 kids. The finals in Loughborough were won by Matthew Hathrell. Silver went to Hetty Boardman-Weston and Bronze to Rajinder Poonian. Top schools were Loughborough and London Meed. Thanks to sponsor LG Electronics UK prizes were stereo systems and mobile phones. The first Geographic Go Gala was held as part of the Challenge, in Cambridge in the autumn.
The London Open ended the year as usual. Again it was a major tournament of the TOYOTA - IGS-PandaNet European Go Tour and at the prestigious, central location of the International Student House opposite Regents Park. The number of players was a recent record at 152. The players to watch were the two Korean 7 dans who were studying in Germany. Cho Seok-Bin was the clear winner, beating Hwang In-Seong in round 5 into second place. Two Chinese players from the UK ended next on six wins: Ben He from Glasgow and Bei Ge from Milton Keynes. Young Li Shen took fifth. Ondrej Silt (Czechia) just missed a top five place and also lost the Lightning final to Daniel Althans, a 12 kyu from Germany. As last time the top two board's games were broadcast live on IGS-PandaNet and Japanese Professional Yuki Shigeno (2 dan) was on hand to educate with her popular commentaries.