Go in Britain: 2007
2007 was a year of continuing progress in the BGA. Membership numbers were back up, partly thanks to regular production of the British Go Journal under new editor, Barry Chandler. Tournament attendance was level, with a new online Students' tournament as well as the regular events. We had two visits by Korean professionals (to the Mind Sports Olympiad (MSO) and to south-east club). National Go Week picnic was rained off but the Shodan Challenge gave a learning framework for keen kyu players and youth and promotion work continued.
British Go Congress
The British Go Congress was held at Selwyn College in Cambridge. Winner of the Open Championship was Sam Aitken who beat several higher graded players to win. Local player Phil Beck was the winner of the British Lightning. The Nippon Club Cup was won by Sheffield. William Brooks was the youngest ever winner of the Stacey Trophy for most wins during the year.
In 2007 three players won most of the tournament titles and others won by visitors or resident foreigners, so a lot of the normal names were missing from the winners list. Sam Aitken won Oxford and Bracknell to go with his British title. Jaeup Kim, a Korean living in Reading, won Cambridge, Swindon and the Wessex. Shaoyou Ouyang, living in UK from China, won the Scottish, Milton Keynes, Wanstead and London.
Matthew Macfadyen won Wales for the 15th time, Bei Ge won Furze Platt, Tony Goddard the Three Peaks again, Matthew Cocke Durham and Ian Davis a new Belfast event. Visitors won at Cheshire, Cornwall and Epsom where Lianpeng Zheng, Shige Uno, and Gook-Hwa Park were winners. East Midlands was won by Hui Wang, the Northern by Norbert Bittner.
Handicap and Barlow events were won by: Andrew Kay (Cambridge Bar-Low), Robin Hobbes (Cheshire), Shawn Hearn (West Surrey), Russel Ward (Fife), Eric Hall (Cornwall) and Peter Dahlgren (Scottish Barlow).
The online KGS event was won by Norway's Roy-Andre Kirkebo and the new online student champion was William Brooks.
Central London won both the spring London team matches, but the autumn one was won by the Nippon Club. West Surrey were new winners of the Thames Valley team title.
The MSO was in Potters Bar and was visited by Prof Hahn, An Young-Gil 5p and Lee Kang-Wook 3p and some others from Korea. The event hosted the British Small Board won by Natasha Regan. The MSO Open gold went to Kyung-Nang Kang, part of the visiting Korean group; silver went to Ben He and bronze to Bei Ge. The MSO Rapid was won by Matthew Selby. The Korean Ambassador's Cup was held as the qualifier for the KPMC in Korea. It was won by Bei Ge, with Matthew Cocke second and Alistair Wall third. They recived trophies from Mr Choi of the Korean Embassy.
Matthew Macfadyen and Kirsty Healey kept the British Pair Go title. The event was again at Boars Hill in Oxfordshire. In the 8-pair handicap group the winners were High Wycombe's Lydia Feasey (26 kyu) and Jonathan Englefield (7 kyu). No British players took part in the EPGC (in Russia) nor the IAPGC (in Japan) this year. A Pair Go event at the London Open was won by Dominique Cornuejols and Toru Imamura.
23 players took part in the Candidates' Tournament at Selwyn College, Cambridge. It was won by Matthew Macfadyen, who, with six others, moved forward to join Bei Ge in the Challengers' League held at Winnersh in Berkshire. Ge and unexpectedly Alex Selby were the top two in that and so played the title match at various venues between July and October. Bei Ge remained the champion winning 3-1.
Bei Ge played both in the 2007 World Amateur in Tokyo and in the KPMC International Baduk Championship in Suwon, Korea. He was placed 16th and 19th, with 5 wins in each event.
The Youth Championship was held at Loughborough Grammar and attracted 38 players. William Brooks was again the Youth Champion, also winning under-18. The other age group winners were Matthew Hathrell, Hai Xia, Ken Dackombe, Thomas Mehan and Roella Smith. The Castledine Trophy was again won by King Edward VI (Aston) School. Highest scoring school was Reading. The Youth Grand Prix continued and was won by William Brooks, ahead of Ken Dackombe and Matthew Hathrell. The fourth UK Go Challenge went ahead with finals in Cambridge. Gold was won by Hai Xia and Silver and Bronze went to Ken Dackombe and Matthew Hathrell. Best Girl was Hailey Baines. Top schools were Wellington (Somerset) and London Mead (Burgess Hill). There were also regional Go Galas in Aston (Midlands) and Cambridge (East).
The London Open ended the year as usual with 126 players. It was a major tournament of the new Pandanet Go European Cup and was held again at the central location of the International Student House on Great Portland Street. As last time, the first board was broadcast live on Pandanet (IGS). The top boards were dominated by oriental players, some of whom had travelled over specially. Winner was Shaoyou Ouyang, a Chinese 6 dan living in London. Seol-Ki Hong (7 dan), a Korean from Germany, was expected to win, but he dropped a game. Ting Li from China topped the group with 2 losses to be third. The Lightning final was won by Julio Martinez, a 4 kyu from Spain. Guo Juan was the visiting teaching pro.