“I have nothing to declare but my genius,” Irish poet, dramatist and wit Oscar Wilde is said to have told customs officials. Now his namesake, Oscar Selby 9k, the British Under-Ten 2013 go champion, has been declared a genius on nationwide TV.
Selby (right), of Epsom, was featured on the June 18 Channel 4 Child Genius broadcast. He is one of 21 highly gifted children aged seven to 11 who were selected to take part in a competition, run in association with British Mensa, to find the UK’s “ultimate child genius.” Selby is said by the producers to be a favorite to win. Five contestants are eliminated in each round and Selby has made it through the first round. The last two episodes will be broadcast on June 25 and July 2.
Selby first came to national attention at the age of seven, when he became the youngest child to get an A* grade in GCSE Maths, a public exam usually taken at age 16.
At this year’s British Open, as reported on gogameguru.com, young Selby walked off with a rake of prizes including the British Lightning Trophy and a special award from American-Japanese pro and E-J contributor, Michael Redmond 9p. Less than two weeks ago he won the handicap division of the British Pair Go Championship with partner Rebecca Margetts 20k (see E-J report of Jun 13) and in March won his age-category at the British Youth Championships, ranked third by win rate with 4/5.
Selby grew up with go: his mother Natasha Regan 1k (an actuary), father Matthew Selby 3k (a computer software engineer) and uncle Alex Selby 4d are all keen go players. With playing partner Matthew Cocke 5d, Regan held the UK Pair Go Championship from 2011 to 2012.
Click here to see Channel 4′s page on the episode (including playback, 47:31 with commercials; may not be available everywhere).