Go in Britain: 2013
The 2013 tournament scene saw several new names appear in the winners' list, with quite a few from the younger generation included. Internationally it was an average year which saw our online team demoted a league.
Guo Juan, 5p, visited again in November for another teaching weekend. Nam Chihyung, 1p, visited both Oxford and Epsom clubs during a holiday. Wang Runan, 8p, attended a Chinese cultural day at the British Museum in September, giving a lecture on history and culture, and playing simultaneous games.
American-born professional Michael Redmond, 9p, came over from Japan for a teaching tour in the spring. He visited Cambridge, Chester, Swindon, Leamington before teaching over the weekend of the British Go congress.
Birmingham Tournament came back on the tournament list after an irregular past and a new South London Kyu Players Day started with both teaching and play. Swindon skipped a year and the City, Nottingham and Small Board Tournaments stopped. However tournament average attendance increased for the first time for many years, up from 32 to 34, helped by the 92 players at Oxford.
Unfortunately at the end of year we lost two of our strongest players, both T Mark Hall, founder of GoGoD, and David Ward, after long illnesses.
British Go Congress
The British Go Congress was held at the Cromwell Hotel in the old town part of Stevenage in Hertfordshire. The weekend started with a training session by Michael Redmond which was followed on the Friday evening by the Lightning won by Oscar Selby. 67 players took part in the Open and the Champion was Zebin Du from China. Second was another Chinese player, Yuanbo Zhang. Andrew Kay took third, T Mark Hall fourth and Andrew Simons fifth. The Nippon Club Cup was won by Epsom.
The winner of the Stacey Trophy for most wins during the year was Andrew Simons, with Toby Manning just behind in second.
In 2013 the titles were well spread around. Only tournament regular Toby Manning won three events (Chester, Shrewsbury and Three Peaks). Jon Diamond won two (Bracknell and Arundel), as did Andrew Simons (Trigantius and Birmingham) and Alex Kent (Durham and Wessex). Bruno Poltronieri won both Milton Keynes and his own event, Coventry. Another organiser who won his own event was John Culmer who won the Cornish Open.
Li Shen returned to tournament play to win at Oxford and Durham's Di Wu won the Scottish Open in Glasgow. Dylan Carter became the new winner of the Welsh Open and Mike Webster won at Welwyn Garden City. Matthew Cocke's only win was the Maidenhead. Czech player Vit Brunner won the Northern, Yuanbo Zhang won the East Midlands and Tiberiu Gociu won the Belfast. Scottish Champion David Lee also won the Edinburgh Christmas Tournament.
David Horan won the Cheshire Handicap whilst Eric Hall won the Cornish Handicap. Mike Cockburn won the Bar-Low. The DDK Grand Prix was won by Oscar Selby.
The MSO was again held in London and this time Paul Taylor won the Open and Chris Volk won the 13x13.
Edinburgh again won the online league when their A Team won the fifth edition. The spring London team match was won by the Cambridge team and the autumn one was won by the Oriental team.
Isle of Man
The ever popular Isle of Man Go Week was back on in 2013, again in Port Erin. Matthew Macfadyen won the Open for the first time, previous visits being there as teacher. Shigehiko Uno from Japan won the Afternoon Tournament and won the Pair Go with Keiko Uno. The Handicap was won by Edmund Smith and Oscar Selby won the 13x13. Richard Hunter won the Lightning.
The British Pair Go title was regained by Matthew Macfadyen and Kirsty Healey who beat previous champions, Matthew Cocke and Natasha Regan, in the final. In the handicap group the winners were youngsters Oscar Selby and Rebecca Margetts, from Epsom. The event was again at Boars Hill in Oxfordshire. Matthew Cocke and Natasha Regan were the UK reps at the European Pair Go Championship in Amsterdam, coming 19th, and also at the International Amateur Pair Go Championships in Japan, coming 26th.
The Candidates' Tournament was held in at the Student Union of Edinburgh University, so that some of the northern players could take part. Best of the 23 players was Andrew Kay, who took part despite being reigning champion. The rest of the qualifiers were Desmond Cann and Matthew Cocke on 6 wins, Tim Hunt, Andrew Simons, Boris Mitrovic, Alex Kent and Alex Rix. Francis Roads replaced Matthew in the Challengers' League, held at London's ISH during the second bank holiday in May. Andrew Kay and Andrew Simons were tied for first place on six wins, as the second lost to Alex Kent, to become the Challengers. The best of three games match, held in the autumn in Milton Keynes, was won 2-0 by Andrew Kay, making him British Champion for the second time.
Andrew Simons was 38th at the European Go Championship in Poland.
The World Amateur was held later than normal, in September, in Sendai, Japan. Andrew Kay was our representative and he came 24th. Jon Diamond played in the KPMC International Baduk Championship, in Gumi in Korea, during October and placed 30th.
Alison Bexfield was our representative to the European Women's Championship in Leksand, Sweden, coming 7th.
The UK team got relegated at the end of the 2012-2013 season of the B League of the Pandanet European Teams. At the end of 2013 they were just above mid-table of the C League.
The Youth Championship made a welcome return to Aston and attracted 27 players. Tian-Ren Chen kept the Youth Championship, also winning under-18. The other age groups were won by Melchior Chui, Hasan Nisar, Dylan Zhu-Dong, Oscar Selby and Edmund Smith. The Castledine Trophy was won for a fifth year by Loughborough.
The tenth UK Go Challenge went ahead, with finals at Milton Primary School near Cambridge. 23 young players took part in the finals. Gold was won by Oscar Selby, Silver by David Robson and Bronze by Melchior Chui. Top Girl was Roella Smith. Top junior school was Stamford Green from Epsom.
The Youth Grand Prix continued. Oscar Selby ended with a huge lead, with 1411 points after the London Open. Second was Edmund Smith with 702 and third was Melchior Chui with 499.
Oscar Selby also did well in "Child Genius" on Channel 4, where he eventually lost in the semi-final debating round to the tournament winner Shrinidhi, who is a Scrabble champion.
The London Open ended the year as usual. 109 players took part in the Open, more than in 2012. The winner on tie-break was Yuanbo Zhang, a 4d Chinese player at Nottingham University. Just losing out in second was Benjamin Drean-Guenaizia, 5d from France. Third was another Frenchman, Pierre Paga, 4d, and UK's Andrew Simons, 4d, took fourth. The Lightning was an all Finland final: Mikko Siukola, 4d, beat Janne Nikula, 1d. Boris Mitrovic and Fynn Bachmann won the Pair Go.
A new event was the 1st WBaduk Cup Varsity Match in which Oxford drew with Cambridge. Supporting this match and providing the event's teaching was Hwang In-Seong, 7d, whose attendance was also supported by the Anglo-Korean Society.