Twenty five years ago Paul Smith and some others started the Cambridge Junior Chess and Go Club. In order to celebrate their first quarter century it was decided to run an event that would be attractive to both children and adults. As the UK Go Challenge Finals were not held in the summer as normal, it was decided the event would be the finals for 2018-2019 (making deciding which age group players were in harder than normal). In order to make it interesting for adults it was decided to combine the event with the 2019 British Small Board Championship, as both events are played on 13x13. It was good to see that event back after a five year gap, though it was suspected it was brought back as Paul Smith was fed up of having the trophy for so long!
The entry forms for the BYGC are now on the BGA Calendar - the event is in Aston on Saturday 1st December 2018. Please note the qualifying rules were initially incorrect and a modified form was issued on 15th November.
The British Go Association has introduced a series of badges, available for juniors, to reward their progression through the Go grades. Guidelines are available to organisers of youth clubs who issue badges so that youngsters with the same badge should be about the same ability. They cover grade bands of players from those who just learnt the rules through to those in the single kyu grades. The ultimate badge to collect, with the flame motif extra, is the one for making it to the Dan grades.
For more information contact Alison Bexfield (Youth Squad Coordinator) at ynews at britgo.org
After the AWCC had ended, the following day the BGA used one of the two playing rooms, the Hicks Room in Cambridge's University Centre, to organise the UK Go Challenge Finals. Thanks to the Ing foundation of Shanghai, the Go equipment used by the AWCC has been donated to the BGA and it was used by the 28 children attending the Finals.
Battled over 7 rounds on 13x13 boards, the finals ended up in a three-way tie based on number of wins, as the top three players each won six games and lost to one of the other two. The places were determined by the knock-out system used, as there were three prize certificates, but prize money was shared. The top three were Charlotte Bexfield, Edmund Smith and Yue Wen. These won U18 Girls, U14 Boys and U8 Boys respectively.
The other age-group winners were: U16 Boys David Baldwin, U12 Boys Alexander Hsieh, U10 Boys Theodore Chui, U14 Girls Hilary Bexfield, U12 Girls Julia Volovich, U10 Girls Zoe Walters, U8 Girls Auden Oliviere.
The after a gap in 2016, the UK Go Challenge Finals were back. This time the event was sponsored by Mindsports Academy (MSA) as part of their youth championship event, which meant free entry. As well as the usual certificates, all players received a MSA voucher, participant's medal and sports bag; the winner and second also received a trophy from MSA and all age group winners received a plaque from MSA too. The venue was the very pleasant function rooms of Stoke City's stadium, now called the bet365 stadium, but best known as the Britannia Stadium, which included the Stanley Matthews Bar.
14 young players took part in the Go.
The entry forms for the 2015 UK Go Challenge are now available on the UK Go Challenge website. Packs will be ready by the middle or end of February.
The only thing that has changed this year is the prizes. Back again are the ever-popular black and white logo bugs. This year they are carrying the motto "Play Go!". The top prize is back too; instead of a trophy, it is one of the "Play Go!" tote bags.
Also different is the coloured star for three points, which is replaced by a colourful Cheer Words sticker.
We hope all UK youth or school Go clubs can take part.
UK Go Challenge Organiser
In round four of the European Youth Go Team Championship the UK’s youth team narrowly lost to Czechia 2-3. As expected, Tom and Roella lost on boards 1 and 3, although they put up a good fight against much stronger opponents. Oscar managed a good win on evenly matched board 2 and Edmund cruised to victory on board 4. This left us needing a win on board 5 where we had chances with our player on paper only one grade weaker. Anthony played well and looked to be heading for a win but the greater experience of his opponent paid off in the endgame and so we lost the match overall, but gained some valuable tie break points from our wins.
This puts us in 11th place out of the 13 teams. There is one round left to play on 31st January in which we receive a bye. We have the chance to play a friendly match against the German B team instead.
We were heavily outranked on boards 1, 4 and 5 against Israel, although Tom, Anthony and Hilary acquitted themselves well in the face of grading differences of between 10 and 16 stones.
It was good to see the two U12 players playing a solid game, protecting their groups so there were no major dead groups at the end. Charlotte had a quick win and Dylan had his opponent on the ropes for much of the game. His opponent narrowed the gap, and Dylan resigned, thinking he was about to lose a group of stones. In fact, with a little thought, he could have saved them and would have won the game by about 8 points.