Go in Britain: 2009
The 2009 tournament scene was dominated by Chinese players and the return of Matthew Macfadyen to the domestic circuit to get in shape for the International Pair Go. New during 2009 was the new online BGA team league and the first season was underway at year end. Peter Wendes continued to introduce many new people to Go, including the Go Show tour during October. Jon Diamond became the President and was starting various initiatives, including improving the BGA's look to the outside world, in the hope of attracting more members and increasing the number of teaching events to improve the level of those already joined. Unfortunately during the year we lost Andrew Grant and Dave Strowlger, who both died after serious illness.
British Go Congress
The British Go Congress was held in historic Chester, so the Cheshire Tournament was deferred a year (and replaced by a teaching day). The Lightning was held in The Olde Custom House, whereat Baron Allday was the best of the 36 players. The 61-player Open was held at the Westminster Hotel and won by Xi Gao from Liverpool. The Nippon Club Cup was won by the Cambridge. Having won lots of games over the rest of the year, the winner of the Stacey Trophy for most wins during the year was Yohei Negi from St. Andrews.
Matthew Macfadyen was the top winner taking Coventry, Swindon, Shrewsbury, Wessex and Milton Keynes. However for the first time ever he lost at the Welsh, allowing Yohei Negi to take the title to go with his Durham and Scottish titles.
As well as Xi Gao at the British, the Chinese players winning events were Shi Tang (Students), Du Qing (Furze Platt) and Summer Ian Xia (East Midlands). Wang Wei won two Irish events in Cork, whilst Koreans Hwang and Oh won the events in Dublin.
Matthew Cocke held on to the Three Peaks and Bob Bagot held the Northern. Local player Paul Massey won in Cornwall and Ian Marsh won the Handicap. Jon Diamond won Bracknell, Edwin Brady the Bar-Low, Andrew Kay the Trigantius, Matt Crosby won Belfast and Peter Collins the West Surrey Handicap. Alex Kent won both the Edinburgh Christmas and the KGS tournaments. Michael Marz, visiting from Germany, won in Fife.
The MSO stayed in central London and the Gold places went to Tony Atkins in the Rapid again, Felix Wang in the Open, and Matthew Cocke won the British Small Board at his first attempt.
Cambridge won the spring London team match and the autumn one was won by the Chinese team. Maidenhead held on to the Thames Valley team title.
Matthew Macfadyen and Kirsty Healey kept the British Pair Go title, winning it for a 19th time, by beating Matthew Cocke and Natasha Regan in the final. The event was again at Boars Hill in Oxfordshire. In the handicap group the winners were father and daughter from Cambridge Paul and Kelda Smith. No British players took part in the EPGC but Matthew and Kirsty played at the IAPGC in Japan and came 19th. A Pair Go event at the London Open was won by Wei Wang and Yanqi Zhang.
The Candidates' Tournament was again at Selwyn College, Cambridge. Matthew Cocke won with 6 wins and Hui Wang won 5. They and five others qualified for the Challengers' League. In the League, held at the Nippon Club in London, Hui won 6 and Matthew Cocke won 5, the same as Matthew Macfadyen. Macfadyen won the play off between the Matthews and hence was able to defend the title against Hui. Matthew kept the British Champion's title with three straight wins.
Alistair Wall played in the KPMC International Baduk Championship in Korea coming 54th. Matthew Cocke played at the WYGC in Tokyo ending with 4 wins and 33rd place. At the European Go Congress at Groningen, Netherlands, the British star was Martha McGill who won 7 at 4 kyu. Natasha Regan won two of her games at the EWGC in Mikulov, Czechia.
The Youth Championship was held at Aston again and attracted 39 players. Tian-Ren Chen was the new Youth Champion, also winning under-14. Under-18 winner was Mike Webster and Mazhar Warraich won under-16. The other age groups were won by John Cremin, Roella Smith and Sophie Broad. The Castledine Trophy was for the first time by Loughborough.
The Youth Grand Prix continued and was won by Matthew Hathrell ahead of Roella Smith and Mike Webster. A Cambridge Junior tournament was won by Owen Walker.
The sixth UK Go Challenge went ahead with finals in Cambridge. 55 players from 10 heats took part. Gold was won by Tian-Ren Chen and Silver by Mazhar Warraich and Bronze went to Matthew Hathrell. Best Girl was Crystal Zhang. Top schools were again Aston and Milton.
The London Open ended the year as usual, with 115 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 (or two) was broadcast live on Pandanet (IGS). Unbeaten winner was Chinese player Zi Wang. Second was Wei Wang from Cork. Third equal were Vanessa Wong, the top British female player at an age of 14, and Matthew Macfadyen. Fifth was Yanqi Zhang from Grenoble. Emeric Lemaire won the Lightning. Guo Juan was again the visiting teaching pro.