Go In Britain 2018
The big Go events of the 2018 UK Go scene were the opening of the London Go Centre and the holding during July of the All World Collegiate Weichi Championship (AWCC) in Cambridge.
The UK tournament scene in 2018 had a large number of different tournament winners, with a lot of the recent arrivals in this country taking titles.
Alex Kent became British Champion for the first time.
Internationally our online team excellently ended the 2017-2018 season of the European B-League in second place, but failed to win the promotion play off.
London Go Centre
Young Chelsea Bridge Club had been used for Go events for a while and it was fitting that this West london venue should become in 2018 also the home of the London Go Centre. This opened formally on 17th February with a tournament and teaching weekend. Several events were held over the year, including the T Mark Hall Rapid Play in memory of the player whose bequest helped set up the Centre. Also the first two stages of the British Championship were held there and the London International Teams (won by China). To end the year the Centre became the new home of the London Open (see below).
The fifth AWCC was held in Cambridge this year, organised by the International University Weichi Federation (IUWF). Naturally it was supported by the BGA and sets were provided by the Ing Foundation in Shanghai. Many of the organising team were students at British Universities including Daniel Hu, Junan Jiang, Weichin Dai and Joanne Leung. The tournament had 102 players, split into four groups by strength and a female group. It was held over two days and six rounds, apart from the A group that also had semi-finals and final on a third day. Winner was Baek Moon Ki of Korea. Various Chinese professionals were there too: to play the semi-finals of the Chang Qi Cup, to play simultaneous games against the students and provide other teaching.
British Go Congress
The British Go Congress was held in a hotel in Bristol in April and attracted 58 players to the British Open. This was won by Yunrui Zhao from London. In second place was Jon Diamond and third was Sandy Taylor from the local club. In a vital last round contest, Toby Manning beat Alistair Wall to take the trophy in the annual Stacey Grand Prix by 27 points to 25. Yunrui was also second in the Lightning behind Alex Kent. The Annual General Meeting was held as usual on the Saturday evening, in which Toby Manning was confirmed as President.
In 2018 the tournaments were won by a variety of players including a lot of those recently arrived in the UK. The top event winner was Chang Zhao, the former Chinese professional from London, who won Wessex, Swindon, Sheffield and the MSO 13x13.
Dominating the Scottish scene was Boris Mitrovic who won the Scottish Open and Edinburgh Christmas and was also second on tie-break in the Candidates'. However Skye was weather-affected and Rob Fulton was the winner.
Double event winners were Peikai Xue (Barlow and Cornwall Handicap), Joanne Leung (Cornwall and MSO 9x9), Matt Cocke (Durham and Three Peaks), Sam Aitken (Trigantius and Candidates') and Yangran Zhang (Cheshire and South Manchester)
Single event winners were as follows: Tim Hunt (Maidenhead), Daniel Hu (LGC Opening), Jonathan Green (Nottingham Kyu), Gong Cheng (Bracknell), Min Yang (Welwyn Garden City), Alistair Wall (Manchester Summer), Weijin Chen (Not the London Open), Alison Bexfield (Welsh), Gaoge Wang (MSO), Lucretiu Calota (Arundel), Piotr Gawron (Belfast Handicap), Tunyang Xie (T Mark Hall Rapid), Honghau Lu (Northern) and Philip Leung (Coventry).
The DDK Grand Prix was won by Rowan Borrow from Cheadle Hulme School, with 480 points, ahead of Daffyd Robinson on 460. Elliot Barlow was the best player below 20 kyu, with 340 points.
The 28th edition of the British Pair Go Championship was held again at the Red Lion in Hatfield and attracted 15 pairs. The champions were Joanne Leung and Bruno Poltronieri; they beat Alison and Simon Bexfield in the final. The handicap section was won by Hilary Bexfield and Edmund Smith.
In addition there was the usual Pair Go at the London Open won by Nagisa and Takeshi Mutsuura
The Candidates' Tournament again attracted 18 players. Eight top players from that took part in the Challengers’ League. Alex Kent won all seven games and Andrew Simons won five and so would play the title match. The 2017 Champion Daniel Hu did not contest the title.
The title match was won two games to one by Alex Kent, the games played on 21st July, 13th October and 18th November (each with online commentaries), giving the UK yet another new champion - congratulations to him.
The World Amateur was held in Tokyo and our representative was Daniel Hu, winning four games to end in 26th position. Our player in the Korea Prime Minister Cup was Andrew Simons who won four games to come 18th.
Our online team excellently ended the 2017-2018 season of the European B-League in second place behind Germany. They beat Finland, Austria, Netherlands and Sweden with a draw against Norway. However they failed to win the promotion play off against Italy. At the start of the 2018-2019 season they drew with Denmark and lost to Serbia, Belgium and Netherlands.
The Irish Open (Confucius Cup) was disrupted by snow. A reduced size rapidplay event was won by Lukas Podpera (7d) from Czechia.
The Youth Championship was held again this year King Edward VI (Aston) School in Birmingham. It was attended by 57 youngsters, aged from 5 to 18. Tom Bradbury of Cheadle Hulme was the Youth Champion and Under-18 champion. Runner up and Under-10 champion was Daniel Yang from Birmingham. Jayden Ng of Bromsgrove School was third and winner Under-16. Under-14 was won by Edmund Smith, Under-12 by Zoe Walters and Under-8 by Yanyi Xiong (all Cambridge). The winner of the 13x13 section was Abdul-Ghani farooqi from Cheadle Hulme. The Castledine Trophy was won by Cambridge and best junior school was again Harpenden Academy.
The finals of the fifteenth UK Go Challenge were held just after the AWCC in Cambridge. Best of the 28 players was Charlotte Bexfield. Second was Edmund Smith and third was Yue Wen. The home team won the team trophy.
The Youth Grand Prix was won by Edmund Smith for a third year running, with 800 points. Second was Alexander Hsieh with 753 and third was Rowan Borrow with 696.
The European Youth Go Team Championship for 2017-2018 ended with our team losing to Romania and Hungary to end tenth out of twelve teams. At the start of the 2018-2019 season they beat Croatia, but lost to Germany.
Ten young players were in the team that went to the European Youth in Kiev in March and twenty young players joined the second BGA Youth Residential, again held at Caythorpe Court, an adventure holiday centre in Lincolnshire, at the end of August.
The London Open ended the year as usual, but moved to the London Go Centre with a limited entry of 89 including ghosts, but some other players joining the side events. The professional player Ali Jabarin gave lectures and analysed games too; also Fan Hui visited the event. The winner of both the Lightning and the Open was Chi-Min Oh, winning all 7 games in the Open. Andrew Kay took the David Ward Trophy for the best British player.