Reigning British Champion Andrew Kay 4d (right) and Alex Kent 3d (below left) will meet in the final of the 2014 British Championship after taking top places at the Challengers’ League, held over the bank holiday weekend, Friday May 24 to Tuesday May 27, at the International Student House in London. The Challengers’ is a round-robin between the eight top players from the first stage of the Championship, the Candidates’ Tournament (see Ge Bei Lead UK Challenger, EJ 5/10), with 105 minutes each main time, and overtime of 15 plays in 5 minutes. Kay won all seven rounds, while Kent won five. Click here for full results.
As it transpired, four of those who qualified to contend for a place in the final in fact did not: Sandy Taylor 2d, Tim Hunt 3d and Bruno Poltronieri 3d all found they had other commitments which clashed while, most unfortunate of all, Ge Bei (below right) did not confirm his entry in time. Ge had come first in the Candidates’, beating all his opponents, including reigning champion Kay who had once again waived his right to bypass the first stage of the Championship.
The British Go Association’s (BGA) Championship organizer, Jenny Radcliffe explained that Ge “failed to update his contact information with the BGA and didn’t or couldn’t check the email address to which the invitation was sent. We tried to track down alternative modes of contact but failed to find any so eventually, since we really needed to be sure we had eight players, had to call up another reserve. By the time Bei got in touch, the reserve had already booked non-refundable travel and accommodation, and rearranged his personal life.”
BGA Rules state, “It is the responsibility of the qualified players to determine their eligibility for entry to the Candidates’ Tournament and the Challengers’ League and submit their entries to these events.” At the time of going to press we had been unable to contact Ge for comment.
In the circumstances, reserve Alistair Wall 2d was called up along with the next three highly-placed in the Candidates: Alex Rix 3d, Kiyohiko Tanaka 2d and Harry Fearnley 2d.
Radcliffe added “We hope that this will be a reminder to everyone that it really is important to keep the BGA informed of your contact details!”
Details of the final are yet to be arranged, but it will be a best-of-three (or five if so agreed between the finalists) with 180 minutes main time each and is likely to be broadcast live on KGS with professional commentary.
Report by Tony Collman, British correspondent for the E-Journal. Photos: Andrew Kay celebrates retaining the Championship in 2013; Alex Kent, both courtesy of the BGA website; Ge Bei at the Candidates’, by Tanaka Kiyohiko.