Go In Britain: 2015
The tournament scene in 2015 was dominated by Alistair Wall, who won the Stacey Trophy for 2014-2015 and intended to keep it. Again temporary residents won quite a few events, but remarkably one British winner was playing in his first ever tournament.
Internationally our online team got promoted to the B-League and the new youth squad enjoyed playing in the new youth equivalent and in the European Youth.
Guo Juan, 5p, attended a strong players teaching day and Catalin Taranu, 5p, was the teaching pro at the London Open.
New in 2015 was the Sheffield Tournament and most of the regular events continued. The South London teaching day and tournament was held again by actually in West London this time.
Unfortunately the ever popular Isle of Man Go Week came to end after 25 years and twelve editions, its demise brought about by the sad death of joint organiser Leo Phillips. Also sad was the death of Brian Timmins, former Membership Secretary and Journal Editor, after a short illness, and also that of Bill Streeten, a former Secretary and Council member.
British Go Congress
The British Go Congress was held at the old Prince Rupert Hotel in picturesque Shrewsbury. 68 players took part in the British Open, won this year by Junnan Jiang, 4d, from Oxford. Alex Kent, 3d, was the runner up. Another Alex, Alex Rix, won the British Lightning on the first evening. The Annual General Meeting was held as usual on the Saturday.
In 2015 the tournament scene was dominated by Alistair Wall. He won the Cheshire, Welwyn Garden City, Milton Keynes, Northern, Cornwall and Sheffield. New to tournaments, Charles Hibbert won the Maidenhead-Hitachi and Cambridge Trigantius events. Alex Kent won Durham, Des Cann won Bracknell and Paul Massey won the Cornwall Handicap.
Several events were won by foreign residents: Tongzhou Cai won the Scottish Open and the Edinburgh Christmas was a tie between Hongyi Chen and Jakub Ziomko. Ngoc-Trang Cao won the Welsh Open and the Wessex, whilst her friend Jitka Bartova won the Three Peaks. Arundel was by Lucretiu Calota, Coventry by Ruizhu Wu, Belfast by Karl Irwin and the Barlow by Tobias Ungerer.
The MSO was held again at the JW3 centre in London; this time Aja Huang only won the Open event and the 13x13, as Joanne Leung won the 9x9.
Cambridge won the online league when their A Team won the seventh edition. There was only an autumn London team match, won again by the North London Club.
The DDK Grand Prix was won by Charlotte Bexfield; Daniel Gascoyne and Tom Bradbury, from Cheadle Hulme School, were the best players below 20 kyu.
Isle of Man
The Isle of Man Go Festival was held for the last time at the Cherry Orchard in Port Erin, as before. Various events for both young and old, including music-making, sandcastle-building and Go-playing, were organised during the week. Piers Shepperson won the Main tournament, Richard Hunter the Afternoon and Charlotte Bexfield the Handicap event. The Lightning Final was won by Edmund Smith, Ingrid Jendrzejewski won the 13x13 and the Rengo (Doubles) final was won by Oscar Selby and his mother Natasha Regan.
The Silver Jubilee edition of the British Pair Go Championship was held again at the Red Lion in Hatfield. The title was held by Matthew Cocke and Natasha Regan, whilst the handicap section was won by Charlotte Bexfield and Alex Terry. In addition in 2015 there was the usual Pair Go at the London Open, but the UK did not attend the European and International Amateur Pair Go Championships.
The Candidates' Tournament was held in Fulbourn near Cambridge and again 24 players took part. Winner was Andrew Simons. The Challengers’ League was held for the first time in Swindon at the Goddard Arms. Andrew Kay and Andrew Simons took the top two spots and Charles Hibbert was third. The best of three games match to decide the title was tied at one game each at the year end. Andrew Kay won the first game by 2.5 points and neatly Andrew Simons won the second, also held in Cambridge, by the same margin.
A larger than normal team attended the European Go Congress in Czechia; Matt Marsh was our highest scoring player. Joanna Leung was fifth in the European Women’s in Antalya, Turkey, and sixth in the European Students’ in Romania.
The World Amateur was held in Bangkok in 2015 and our rep, Des Cann, won two games, but unfortunately no invitation was received to the Korea Prime Minister Cup.
The UK team ended the 2014-2015 season of the Pandanet European Teams with six wins and two draws to win promotion to the B-League. However at the end of 2015 they were struggling with only one win.
The Irish Open is now called the Confucius Cup and is an international event, with Chinese professionals attending and a parallel Chinese Chess tournament. Best of the 56 players in 2015 was Young-Sam Kim. Second was Chi-Min Oh and fifth was the UK’s Matthew Macfadyen.
The Youth Championship was again at Aston, but this year in the autumn (skipping a school year). It attracted a healthy 34 players from 6 to 17, and including two foreign residents. Oscar Selby was the Youth Champion, also winning Under-14. Runner up and Under-16 champion was Alex Terry. Under-18 was won by Alex Benton, Under-12 by Edmund Smith, Under-10 by Alexander Hsieh and Under-8 by Jianzhou Mei. Marieke Ahlborn from Germany was the Handicap Winner. The Castledine Trophy was won for the first time by Cheadle Hulme School.
The twelfth UK Go Challenge went ahead, with finals at the Howard Hall in Letchworth Garden City. 19 young players took part in the finals. Gold was won by Alex Terry, Silver by Melchior Chui and Bronze by Charlotte Bexfield. Top junior school was the Milton, Cambridge, whilst St Francis, Letchworth, was the champion school.
The Youth Grand Prix ran for another year with the result only decided by the last event, the London Open. Edmund Smith ended second with 1103 points, but just winning with 1188 points was Charlotte Bexfield. Alex Terry took third with 653.
The new online European Youth Go Team Championship saw our youngsters ending the first season in tenth place. In the 2015-2016 season they started well by beating Poland. Six members of the Youth Squad were also in action at the European Youth Championships in Zandvoort, Netherlands. Edmund Smith took 18th place in the Under-12.
The London Open ended the year as usual. Disappointingly only 76 players took part in the Open, but much fun was had by all and Catalin Taranu gave lectures and analysed games too.
The winner of the Lightning, Pair Go and the Open was Sai Sun (5d) from China. She won six games in the Open, ahead of Andrew Kay (winner of the David Ward Cup), Xinchi Gong (5d) of UCL and Sandy Taylor. Sandy started below the bar but remarkably beat the top two. In the Lightning final Sai Sun finished off Wenshi Chen very quickly and she easily won the Pair Go partnered with Xinchi Gong.