Go in Britain: 2012


The 2012 tournament scene saw the new generation continuing to dominate the winners' list, with Andrew Simons and Andrew Kay winning most of the titles. Andrew became British Champion for the first time. Vanessa Wong continued to well internationally.

Guo Juan, 5p, visited in November for a teaching day and returned for the London Open, whilst Koreans Ko Juyeon, 8p, and Park Sokyun, 3p, also visited, attending the Welsh Open.

A new London City event was held, the Shrewsbury moved to the country and became the Shropshire, but the West Surrey Handicap ended in 2011. All other events continued, apart from the National Small Board which was the delayed one from the previous year. Many tournament numbers still tended to drop, but the overall number of attendances showed a slight increase on 2011.

Unfortunately during the year we lost Norman Tobin BGA president from 1985 to 1991, and heard that computer Go pioneer Allan Scarff had died at the end of 2011.

British Go Congress

The British Go Congress was held in the ancient university city of Durham. The Lightning was again held on the Friday evening and was won by Andrew Kay. 63 players took part in the Open and the Champion was also Andrew Kay. The Nippon Club Cup was won by London.

Having won a lot of tournaments the previous twelve months, the winner of the Stacey Trophy for most wins during the year was Andrew Kay, with Andrew Simons a close second.

Regional Tournaments

As in 2011, Andrew Simons and Andrew Kay won the most events. Andrew Simons won Cambridge Trigantius, Milton Keynes and Coventry. He also won the first BGA Online League and the National Small Board. Andrew Kay won Durham, City, Welwyn Garden City and Bracknell.

Winning two events each were Richard Hunter (the Welsh Open and the Wessex), Toby Manning (Cornwall and Shropshire) and Matthew Cocke (Swindon and Three Peaks).

Chinese players Chu Lu and Lingjun Miao won one event each (Maidenhead and Oxford), and SinVoon Chin from Brunei won Nottingham. David Lee won the Scottish Open and also retained the Scottish Championship, whilst Matt Crosby won the Edinburgh Christmas. Jon Diamond won the East Midlands, Tony Atkins the Cheshire, Paul Tabor won Arundel, Richard Moulds retained the Northern and Matthew Macfadyen won the second Skye. Florian Borchers won the Cambridge Bar-Low and Lauren Spijker from the Netherlands won in Belfast.

Handicap tournaments were won by Kathleen Timmins in Cheshire and Peter Harold-Barry in Cornwall.

The MSO was again held in London and this time Felix Wang won the Open and Francis Roads won the 13x13.

Edinburgh won the fourth online league. The spring London team match was won by the Nippon Club team and the autumn one was won by Cambridge. South London won the handicap section at both events. Wanstead was the winner of Thames Valley team title.

Pair Go

The British Pair Go title was won again by Matthew Cocke and Natasha Regan. They represented the UK at the European Pair Go Championships in Lyon; they took 7th place this time. In the handicap group the winners were Helen and Martin Harvey, often previously in the open group. The event was again at Boars Hill in Oxfordshire. Martha McGill and Matthew Crosby, and Alison and Simon Bexfield were the UK reps at the 2nd World Mind Sports Games, each pair winning two games.

British Championship

Matthew Macfadyen had decided not to compete the Championship in 2012. The Candidates' Tournament was held in ISH in London. Best of the 22 players was Andrew Kay and Felix Wang was second. The rest of the qualifiers were Desmond Cann, Andrew Simons, David Ward, Alex Selby, Nick Krempel and Francis Roads, as Chong Han could not play. In the League, held at London's Nippon Club during the Diamond Jubilee Holiday, Andrew Kay won and Nick Krempel was second for a second year, to become the Challengers. The best of three match in the autumn was won 2-0 by Andrew, making him British Champion for the first time.


Due to confusion over selecting the player to take part, Sam Aitken was our representative at the World Amateur, as he was already in China near where it was held in Guangzhou. He won four games. Toby Manning played in the KPMC International Baduk Championship in Korea in October and won half his games.

Vanessa Wong, in Brno, cleanly won the European Women's Championship, winning all five games. In 2010 she had missed out on the title by tie break. Her title meant she was on the European team that took part in the second SportAccord World Mind Games in China. She won one game in the Individual Women's event and partnered Jan Hora in the Pair Go.

At the second World Mind Sports Games in Lille, the UK's two teams placed 12th in one group and 6th in the other. Chong Han was best male individual ending 20th with three wins. Vanessa Wong did very well in the women's event, qualifying for the finals, but unfortunately losing the semi-final to Osawa of Japan and the third-fourth play-off to Sarah Yu of Canada.

The UK team remained in the B League of the Pandanet European Teams, ending 5th for the 2011-2012 season, but ended 2012 in bottom position for the next season.

Youth Events

The Youth Championship was held again at Bloxham in Oxfordshire and attracted 13 players. Tian-Ren Chen regained the Youth Championship, also winning under-18, ahead of Adan Mordcovich. The other age groups were won by Aidan Putman, Thomas Meehan, Dylan Zhu-Dong, Anthony Ghica and Edmund Smith. Silas Yufu Shi (Loughborough) was the Open winner. The Castledine Trophy was won for a fourth year by Loughborough.

The Youth Grand Prix continued, decided after the London Open, but Edmund Smith already had an uncatchable lead (748), ahead of Adan Mordcovich (611) and Oscar Selby (590).

The ninth UK Go Challenge went ahead with finals in Cambridge. 22 players from the heats took part. Gold was won by Satoru Oshima, Silver by Roella Smith and Bronze by Peran Truscott. Top junior school was Milton and Impington was the top senior school.

London Open

The London Open ended the year as usual. 103 players took part in the Open, fewer that in 2011. Unbeaten winner was Luka Kraemer, 5d, from Germany. The UK's Matthew Cocke (5d) took second and third was Volkmar Liebscher, 3d, from Germany. These three took the European Cup points. Winning six games was Joerg Sonnenberger, 6k, also from Germany. Chinese player Yuanbo Zhang won the Lightning, beating Wen Hao Goh, 1d, from Singapore in the final. On hand to do teaching was Guo Juan, and she won the 16 team Pair Go with Claude Brisson. Andrew Kay, Klaudia Kleczkowski and Andrew Simons won the post-tournament Rengo.

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