American Go E-Journal » Europe

Zhang Yuanbo Wins London Open

Sunday January 5, 2014

The 40th London Open Go Congress, the UK’s largest and oldest go event, took place December 28-31 at the International Student House in central London. With a field of 109 players ranging from 5d to 24k, first place in the seven-round main tournament was taken by Zhang Yuanbo 4d (right), a Chinese graduate of the University of Nottingham, with six wins. French visitors Benjamin Drean-Guenaizia 5d and Pierre Paga 4d took second and third place with six and five wins respectively and Briton Andrew Simons 4d, also on five wins, came fourth. Games were 90 minutes main time (60 if both players 20k or weaker), with Canadian (repeating) overtime of 20/5 and tie-breaks decided on McMahon score. In fact, as our photo below shows, Zhang could have had a perfect 7/7 if he had noticed opponent Drean-Guenaizia’s flag fall during overtime in round six. However, his attention was entirely focused on the close battle on the board and he eventually decided the game was lost and resigned. Click here for full results.

After 10-minute round-robin qualifiers, fellow Finns and good friends Mikko Suikola 4d and Janne Nikula 2d emerged from a knockout stage as finalists in the Lightning, held on Monday evening, December 30. The 12-minute final was rather informal, with beer on the table and good-natured banter passing between the competitors as they played, referee Jenny Radcliffe having to step in at one point to warn one of the many spectators not to comment on the position. Despite a stiff handicap of three stones, based on McMahon score after Nikula’s rather poor showing in the main, Suikola nevertheless prevailed to take first prize.

In the Pair Go, an unfortunate paucity of female competitors meant there were a number of all-male teams admitted to balance the numbers and in fact no females figured in the top three (of 14) pairs, who were Boris Mitrivoc 2d and Fynn Bachmann 1k, Andre Stadtler 3d and Chris Volk 2k, and Andrew Russell 4k and Jonathan Green 5k, in that order. The tournament rule that a Pair Go team shall comprize “one lady and one man” was overcome by the forensic observation that the term “lady” was undefined. We spare the blushes of the nominal “ladies” by not specifying who was which. Click here for full results.

Top European-rated player, Korean Hwang In-seong 8d (right, at board facing camera) was present throughout, spending two-three hours per round reviewing games as well as giving a lecture on opening theory on Sunday 12/29 and one on local techniques Monday 12/30 and reviewing the top game on the teaching board on the Tuesday afternoon, 12/31. He told the E-Journal he had competed in the London Open in 2005 and was very happy to have been invited to teach there this year. Guo Juan, who has for many years filled this role, was in Montreal this year and so unable to attend.

There was also a new event on Monday 12/30, the first WBaduk Varsity Match, between teams from Oxford and Cambridge Universities which was drawn (see Oxford and Cambridge Battle to Draw in 1st WBaduk Varsity Match, EJ 1/1).

After the prize-giving ceremony, proceedings ended with Rengo followed by a New Year’s Eve meal.

The Congress was organized by the British Go Association and the Central London Go Club, and also received support from the Nippon Club, the Anglo-Korean Society, WBaduk and others. Martha McGill was the main organizer, Jenny Radcliffe tournament director and organizer and referee for the Lightning and Rengo. Nick Wedd was the referee for the main tournament and organizer and referee for the Pair Go. Tony Atkins organized provision of equipment and David Cantrell ran the bookstall. Others too numerous to mention played smaller roles.

Click here for further details in the British Go Association’s report.

In other British go news Under-10 Champion Oscar Selby 7k (pictured above, looking over Hwang’s shoulder) took the 2013 Youth Grand Prix with 1411 points – more than twice those of his nearest rival, Edmund Smith 17k. Click here for full details.

Tony Collman, British correspondent for the E-Journal.

 

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Oxford and Cambridge Battle to Draw in 1st WBaduk Varsity Match

Wednesday January 1, 2014

Two teams representing the ancient British universities of Oxford and Cambridge met over the board on the evening of Monday, December 30 as a side event to the London Open, with neither coming out on top. The two rounds constituting the match, in which each team fielded two alumni and two students of their respective universities, were both drawn 2-2. Accordingly, all players shared the champagne earmarked for the winners as well as each taking a £40 cash prize and the team sweaters worn during play. Both teams also took away a set each of the five-volume Learn To Play Go series of books by Janice Kim and Jeong Soo-hyun.

Playing for Oxford were alumni Matthew Macfadyen 6d and Alex Rix 2d and students Jiang Junnun 4d and Stephane Thao  4k  (who was given three stones) and for Cambridge, alumni Andrew Simons 4d and Chris Bryant 1d and students “Tony” Lou Yusiang 5d and Jamie Taylor 1d. Rix and Lou were the only players to win both their games. Games were half-hour main time, plus five minutes Milton Keynes overtime then five minutes sudden death.

The match, which was broadcast live on the WBaduk site with the help of four volunteer BGA game recorders, was the first in what it is hoped will be an annual event, the WBaduk Varsity Match, and was sponsored by WBaduk — a South Korean government-backed website for the promotion of go worldwide — and organized in cooperation with the British Go Association (BGA). As well as the prizes, the sponsors also donated magnetic go sets, beginners’ books and T-shirts to both universities’ go clubs. The total budget for the event was $5,300. Organization on the ground was by Toby Manning of the BGA and Lee Semi, wife of London Open guest, top European-rated  Korean player Hwang In-Seong, on behalf of WBaduk. For further details, including player profiles and game results, visit WBaduk’s event page.

Tony Collman, British correspondent for the E-Journal. Photos – top: Tony Lou Yusiang (Cambridge, on the left)  v Matthew Macfadyen; bottom: Andrew Simons (Cambridge, on the left) v Jiang Junnun. Banner graphic courtesy of WBaduk.

British Open Taking Entries

Sunday December 29, 2013

Entries are now being accepted for the 2014 British Open, which will take place the weekend of March 1-2 2014 as part of the British Go Congress (BGC) 2014 in the south-coast resort town of Bognor Regis*. It is the central event of the BGC which opens on Friday February 28 with the British Lightning (also an open** event) and takes in the British Go Association (BGA) AGM on the Saturday evening (members only), wrapping up with a teaching session on Monday March 3. Click here to enter the British Open.

The BGC will run alongside the European Youth Go Championship (EYGC). This year the winner in the Under-20 category will gain a place in the new GLOBIS Cup World Youth Go Championship (see Nihon Ki-in Announces New Under-20 World Tourney, EJ 11/30), to be held in Japan on 8 – 11 May 2014. Please note that the EYGC venue providers, Butlins, withdrew the original date offered which we reported earlier (2014 European Youth Go Championship Venue Set, EJ 7/16).

Click here for full details of all these events.

Report by Tony Collman, British Correspondent for the E-J. Photo courtesy of BGA website.

*The title Regis (“of the King”) was granted to the town in 1929 by King George V after he spent time convalescing nearby the year before. The King’s famous last words, unprintable here, also concerned Bognor.

**Entrants should, however, be members of their national go association.

Upcoming European Tournaments: European Youth Go Championship, British Go Congress

Wednesday December 25, 2013

European Youth Go ChampionshipThe British Go Association will host the 2014 European Youth Go Championship in conjunction with the British Go Congress from February 28 through March 3 in Bognor Regis, a resort town on England’s south coast. The EYGC will be split into three age groups: under 12, under 16, and under 20. The British Go Congress will include a lightning tournament, the British Open, a teaching event, and pair go. British Go Association (BGA) members can enjoy discounts for all British Go Congress events. Discounted rates on accommodations are available for all players who make reservations through the official EYGC website. To register for either tournament or for more information including a full schedule, prizes, and the latest news, please visit the official European Youth Go Championship home page.
—Annalia Linnan; for complete listings, check out the European Tournament Calendar; photo courtesy of British Go Association

EuroGoTV Update: Austria, Hungary, Serbia

Wednesday December 25, 2013

Austria: The Austrian Women’s Championship finished on December 21 in Go7 with Katrin Unger 5k in first, Lisa Mayer 6k (left) in second, and Chuandi Zhou 6k in third. Hungary: Pal Balogh 6d took the Hungarian Championship Final on December 15 in Budapest. Behind him were Dominik Boviz 4d and Peter Marko 4d. Serbia: Also on December 15, Nikola Mitic 5d bested Dusan Mitic 6d at the 39th Serbian Championship in Kragujevac while Dejan Krstic 4d placed third.
– Annalia Linnan,  based on reports from EuroGoTV, which include complete result tables and all the latest European go news; photo courtesy of EuroGoTV

Edinburgh Wins British Online League, Glasgow Promoted

Monday December 23, 2013

The fifth season of the British Online League was won by Edinburgh’s first team for the second year running with fellow Scots, Glasgow, winning the second division, and earning promotion to the first next year. Their place in the second division will be taken by the demoted Central London Go Club’s B-team, where they will be joined by third division winners Milton Keynes, while Edinburgh’s second team move down into the third division.

The league was organised on behalf of the British Go Association (BGA) by John Collins, who also captained the St Albans Kyus, winners of the Wooden Spoon, and was played in the British Room on KGS. Registrations are now being taken for the sixth season, expected to start at the beginning of March 2014. Click here for full league standings.

Report by Tony Collman, British correspondent for the E-Journal. Photo: Martha McGill, Edinburgh first team captain, courtesy of BGA website.

Categories: Europe,Go News
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EuroGoTV Update: Romania, Spain, Poland

Monday December 16, 2013

Romania: Cristian Pop 7d (left) took the Cupa Romaniei Finala in Sinaia on December 8. Behind him were Dragos Bajenaru 6d and Mihai Valentin Serban 5d. Spain: Also on December 8, Ignacio Cernuda 3d bested Oscar Anguila 4d at the Spanish Championship Finals in Barcelona while Pau Carles 3d placed third. Poland: The Polish Championship League finished December 8 in Olsztyn with Marcin Majka 3d in first, Majus Misiak 2d in second, and Sebastian Pawlaczyk 3d in third.
– Annalia Linnan,  based on reports from EuroGoTV, which include complete result tables and all the latest European go news; photo courtesy of EuroGoTV

In Memoriam: T Mark Hall, 1947-2013

Thursday December 12, 2013

T Mark Hall died on Monday, December 9 after a long illness. Perhaps best-known throughout the global go community as the co-creator of GoGoD (Games of Go on Disk), the exhaustive go encyclopaedia, Hall “was a long and faithful servant of the British Go Association, of British go in general,” said BGA president — and longtime friend — Jon Diamond. “He was on our Council for some 22 years, serving for 20 of these as Treasurer, a record of service that will surely be unsurpassed.” “T Mark Hall’s work benefited go players around the world,” said American Go Association president Andy Okun. “We extend our thanks and deepest sympathies to our British go colleagues who so generously shared his gifts with us.” John Fairbairn, Hall’s longtime friend and GoGoD colleague, said that “British Go has been blessed with many fine servants, but very high among them will rank T Mark Hall. I was with him in the last months and hours and so I can testify that he had borne his long illness with great dignity and courage – nonchalance even.” Hall continued to work on GoGoD until very near the end and as recently as April played in the British Open, where he came in fourth. “Mark wished to continue his work for the British Go Association even after he was gone, and has made substantial bequests accordingly,” Diamond says. He also donated his antique go board to the British Museum and asked that GoGoD continue; Diamond says “I hope to keep his flame alive there, although frankly he will be quite irreplaceable.” Diamond added that “Mark was not just well known. He was popular…He will be remembered by many for sitting at tournaments and other events after his game was over with his pipe and chatting to all and sundry. He will be sorely missed.”
- photo courtesy BGA 

Categories: Europe
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South London Go Club Hosts Kyu-Players Teaching Day

Tuesday December 10, 2013

The South London Go Club held a very successful teaching day and tournament for some two dozen kyu-players at the Quaker Meeting House, Croydon on Saturday December 7. In the morning three dan-grade volunteers from the British Go Association (BGA) gave 50-minute teaching sessions in rotation to three groups selected by grade, and in the afternoon each group played a Swiss tournament, while the teachers — joined by Paul Smith 1d, who was escorting his young son Edmund to the event — played a round-robin. For the teaching sessions, our correspondent “added a stone to the weak group”:

British Champion Andrew Kay 4d gave an extremely lucid presentation on probe stones, which he described as stones which ask a question of the opponent. It is though, he explained, actually a trick question designed so that however it is answered, it will receive a response which makes it the wrong answer. He went on to demonstrate exactly what he meant in practical terms on the board, using first a life-and-death situation in the corner, then a joseki not well-known even to low-dan players.

BGA stalwart and AGA member Francis Roads 2d (left, pointing at board) chose a game submitted to the event by one of the attendees for review as the teaching material. It became the subject of a “penny go” exercise, whereby at critical junctures in the review each member of the student group was invited to place a penny where they thought the next play should be. Showing great tact and sensitivity to the diffidence of the learners, Roads not only withheld the identity of the game’s players but even made himself absent as the (identical) pennies were placed. One of the teaching points he was most emphatic about was controlling the knee-jerk tendency of weaker players to “obey the 5cm rule”, ie unthinkingly responding to any move with a play within 5cm of the opponent’s last stone.

Tim Hunt 2d also used a game review to illustrate various teaching points, particularly in the opening. He, however, made his points using a high-level professional game, so here it was more often an analysis of why this or that move was a good one, compared to the students’ various suggestions. The game was from round 1 of the 1998 Japanese Oza qualifiers which Michael Redmond won as white against the legendary Cho Chikun. When Redmond visited the UK earlier this year Hunt had heard someone ask him his favourite game, and this was it. The teacher needed no recourse to a game record, as he had clearly studied it in great depth and knew every move as well as numerous possible variations at each stage.

After a short break for lunch, the tournament(s) got under way: three rounds with half an hour per player then sudden death, and handicaps (for the students, but not the teachers), set equal to grade difference, komi 7.5. Natasha Regan 1k of Epsom won in the first division (1k – 5k), narrowly beating Sue Paterson 4k of Arundel by one point in the third round, with Chris Volk 2k of Reading pushing Paterson into third place with one point more on aggregate. In the second division (6k – 10k) Peter Fisher 7k of Leicester was victorious, while Francis Moore 6k of the home club placed second and Malcolm Hagan 6k of Winchester third. In the third division (11+k) Gerry Gavigan 12k, also of South London, won and Adam Field 13k of Winchester and 8-year-old Edmund Smith 13k of Milton School took second and third place respectively. In the teachers’ tournament, Tim Hunt prevailed, winning all three games. (Placings above are based on tie-break by sum of players’ scores, per the hand-produced tables at the South London Go Club website; click here for official results). 

All the prizes were books aimed at improvers: Understanding Dan-level Play, by Yuan Zhou; How Not To Play Go, also by Yuan Zhou; Attack and Defence, by Ishida Akira and James Davies; Opening Theory Made Easy, by Otake Hideo;  Go Proverbs vol 1, published by the Nihon Ki-in and finally Go By Example: correcting common mistakes in double-digit kyu play, by Neil Moffat. Prizes went to all with three wins and some with two. In addition, two copies of Anders Kierulf’s SmartGo Kifu iPhone/iPad app, donated to the event by the author, went to the first takers.

The event was the first of its kind for the South London Go Club, but it is intended that it should become an annual event, though perhaps at a different time of year according to organizer David Cantrell, a man with a large beard and quirky sense of humour who signs off unofficial correspondence with such improbable self-stylings as “London Perl Mongers Deputy Chief Heretic”, or “Enforcer, South London Linguistic Massive” often appending an epigram such as, “Human Rights left unattended may be removed, destroyed, or damaged by the security services.”

Click here for further details and full results and a photo album.

Report and photos by Tony Collman, British correspondent for the E-Journal.

EuroGoTV Update: Russia, UK, Serbia

Saturday December 7, 2013

16th Serbian Individual CupRussia: The Cup of Japan House finished December 1 in Moscow with Ilja Shikshin 7d in first, Igor Nemlij 5d in second, and Vadim Khavin 4d in third. UK: Bruno Poltronieri 3d bested Andrew Kay 4d in The Coventry at Warwick University on November 30. Yuanbo Zhang 4d placed third. Serbia: Also on November 30, Dusan Mitic 6d (left) won the 16th Serbian Individual Cup in Belgrade. Behind him were Nikola Mitic 5d and Dejan Krstic 4d.
– Annalia Linnan,  based on reports from EuroGoTV, which include complete result tables and all the latest European go news; photo courtesy of EuroGoTV