The 2012 British Go Congress was held in Durham on April 20-22. The opening event was a Friday evening lightning tournament won by Andrew Kay (4d). The main event was the British Open, played in six rounds on Saturday and Sunday, also won by Andrew Kay: he now has four British tournament triumphs for 2012. Second and third places in the Open went to Andrew Simons (3d) and Toby Manning (2d).
For 2012, the European Youth Go Championship returned to St. Petersburg, Russia, where it was held at the Olgino Hotel on April 12-15. Competition was organized into an under 20 section, an under 16 section, and an under 12 section.
The U20 section was smallest but strongest, with eleven players ranked 5 dan to 3 kyu representing the Czech Republic, France, Germany, Hungary, the Netherlands, Norway, Romania, Russia, and the Ukraine. Lukas Podpera (5d) who has been competing in tournaments since he was eight years old and has been Czech youth champion since 2009, sailed undefeated through the first five rounds to clinch first place, crushing opponents right and left before losing to Alexander Eerbeek (5d, Netherlands) in the sixth and final round. Both of these players will represent their countries in the upcoming World Amateur Go Championship in Guangzhou. Alexander's last-round brilliancy earned him third place, while Alexandr Vashurov (5d, Russia) took second, improving on his third-place finish in the U16 section in Brno last year.
In the U16 section there were 26 players, ranging from 3 dan to 16 kyu, half of them from Russia. Yurii Mykhalyuk (3d, Ukraine) lost his first game to Tal Maichaeli (2d, Israeli youth champion), then stormed back to win five in a row. This streak included a key fifth-round victory over rival Stepan Popov (3d, Russia) who came second in the U12 section last year. Yurii and Stepan both ended with 5-1 results but Yurii took the championship on tie-breaking points. Third place went to Alexandru-Petre Pitrop, a strong 2-kyu from Romania.
The U12 section had a gigantic field of 78 players, 58 of them from Russia, with ranks from 1 dan to 20 kyu. Ukrainian U12 champ Valerii Krushelnytskyi (2k) won all his games to become European U12 champion as well. Silvestru State (1k, Romania) took second place, losing only to the undefeated champion. Valerij Kulishov (3k, Russia) took third, losing only to the champion and runner-up.
The top three in the U12 and U16 sections won free passes to play in the KGS Insei League.
The 33rd World Amateur Go Championship will be held in Guangzhou, China, May 11-17, 2012. It is the first time that this event will take place in South China. Guangzhou, also known as Canton, is the capital city of Guangdong Province. It is enjoying great economic prosperity, flourishing development, cultural diversity and dynamic modernization. With a history of more than 2800 years, Guangzhou is forging its way ahead between its cultural heritage and fashionable skyscrapers. It offers tourists and visitors a feast of sights with unique charm, including the Flowery Pagoda (right), the Pearl River, the Baiyun Mountain, and the Temple of Six Banyan Trees. In 2010, when Guangzhou hosted the 16th Asian Games, the whole city improved itself comprehensively and impressed guests from all over the world with its ebullience and hospitality.
Guangzhou Chess Institute (left) has been chosen as the venue of the 33rd WAGC. Located in scenic surroundings near the Baiyun Mountain, Guangzhou Chess Institute was rated "the most culturally attractive venue of the Asian Games". Listening to the ripple of the stream, looking around at the traditional Lingnan houses, you may think you are in a famous garden. The simple and natural design of the playing hall speaks of calmness and harmony to the players and audience.
The field of 58 players will range in age from 13 to 67 and in official rank from 8 kyu to 8 dan. Nearly half will be newcomers to the WAGC, and eleven will still be in their teens. One teenager to watch will be 16-year-old Qiao Zhijian who has been cutting a wide swath through the Chinese tournament scene, winning the Evening News Cup to earn the right to represent China at the WAGC and then defeating the legendary Nie Weiping in the annual Evening News pro-amateur match. Three others will be Hong Kong's 14-year-old Chan Chi-Hin, who took 15th place in the WAGC last year and then worked up to a 9-dan rating on the Kiseido Go Server, Chinese Taipei's 7-dan Chen Cheng-Hsun, the youngest in the field, and the Czechia's Lukas Podpera, who won the U20 division of the recent European Youth Go Championship. These four will be battling for top spots with formidable opponents from Japan, the two Koreas, Southeast Asia, Eastern and Western Europe, the Americas, Africa, the Middle East, India, and Oceania.
Not all of the action will take place on the go board. Player registration at the Baiyun Hotel on May 11 will be followed by a series of meetings on May 12: a China-Japan-Korea Go Association Summit Meeting, an IGF Directors' Meeting, an orientation meeting for the players, the annual IGF General Meeting, and in the evening an opening ceremony and reception. The tournament itself will take place in eight rounds from May 13-16, with a closing ceremony on the evening of May 16. On May 17 there will be time for sightseeing and other activities, including a night cruise on the Pearl River.
Starting May 13 Ranka online will provide full coverage of the championship.
The 2012 British Youth Championships had 13 competitors aged from 6 to 18, with strengths from 2 dan to 30 kyu. The library block at Bloxham School, Oxfordshire, served again as a great venue. Tian-Ren Chen from Loughborough regained the youth title, the previous year's winner not contesting it this year. Silas Yufu Shi, 2 dan, from Loughborough was the strongest player taking part, but he has Chinese nationality; he won all his games. Prizes and places went to:
Overall winner: Tian-Ren Chen (Loughborough), 2nd Adan Mordcovich U18: Tian-Ren Chen (Loughborough), 2nd Adan Mordcovich U16: Aidan Putman (Swindon) U14: Thomas Meehan (Solihull), 2nd: Richard Showler (Bloxham) U12: Dylan Zhu-Dong U10: Anthony Ghica (Newmarket) U8: Edmund Smith (Milton) Open/Handicap Winner: Silas Yufu Shi (Loughborough) Castledine Trophy: Loughborough (beat Bloxham 3-0)
The Polish Youth Championship, played from 17-03-2012 to 18-03-2012 in Torun, Poland, was won by Dawid Jurkiewicz 2k, second came Bruno Walaszewski 3k and third was Maksym Walaszewski 4k.
The Mexican Youth Go Championship 2012 - Under 12 was held on February 11th in Mexico City. There was participation of 44 kids divided in three groups . The kids had a great time at Ekoji Buddhist Temple where the tournament took place, a special thanks goes to Rev. Todaka and the Temple's staff for kindly hosting the event. Before the tournament we could see some kendokas training at their dojo, with them and the garden, the altar, statues, tatamis, japanese style rooms, the Go boards, bowls and stones, the atmosphere took us for a moment in a trip to ancient Japan.
This year Santiago Dimayuga, a 6 year old child with autism played in Section C reaching 4th place, he has been playing for just a couple months with the support of his Teacher Ana María who taught him the basics, so this is a great achievement, he seems to like Go very much.
In Section A there was a tie between Lilian Zavala 9k and Ogam Shakti 15k each with 4-0 records, the final will be played soon. Vicente A. Cortez 14k came in third place.
Omar Zavala 13k won Section B, followed by Hans Torres 20k and Fernando López 20k. Section C was topped by Leonardo Pineda 24k, second place went to E. Amélie Zdeinert 24k and third place to Ximena Tejada 25k.
(Reported by Siddhartha Avila, Youth coordinator)
The Russian Pair Go Championship 2012 was won by Alexandr Dinerchtein 7d (left) and Svetlana Shikshina 7d (right).
Their hardest game was against the Dmitrij Surin 6d and Natalia Kovaleva 5d pair, who were many time Russian and European Pair Go Champions.
The Cuban National Go Championship ended on February 19 in the province of Santi Spiritu, some 380 km away from Havana. According to the tournament's chief referee Rafael Torres Miranda It was a big success, with three activities carried out simultaneously: A Go course for sports teachers across the province, the 6th Cuba-Japan Exchange Event, attended by four members of the International Go Exchange Society from Japan, and the National Championship. The championship was played in two categories, dan and kyu, and the winners were:
1.- Carlos Alberto Pérez Palacio, 5 dan (Havanna)
2.- Santiago Alvarez Martín, 5 dan (Santi Spiritu)
3.- Yordan Cruz Sanchez, 1 dan (Havanna)
1.- Joel Pasaron Rojas, 4 kyu (Santi Spiritu)
2.- Levys González Formoso, 11 kyu (Havanna)
3.- Luis Alberto Rodríguez Bornel, 10 kyu (Pinar del Rio)
Like last year did nine-year-old Aaron Ye 5d (photo) win the US under 12 Championship. The finals were played on February 11 at the BAGPA ratings tournament.
The 19 year old Alexander Eerbeek started the 8 round Dutch Go Championship as a 4d.
By winning all his games, with exception of the one against Frank Janssen 6d (3rd place), he became the 2012 Champion, became 5d and was appointed to represent the Netherlands to the EYGC2012 in St. Petersburg, Russia, for the under 20 group and best of all: he will represent the Netherlands at the World Amateur Go Championship 2012 in China.
As he did last year, Alex Ketelaars 1d (photo left) ruled and won all his games and so became the Dutch Youth Champion under 18 2012.
Ruben Calon 4k (photo left) only lost to Alex and so became 2nd.
The Dutch Youth Championship 2012 under 12, played on Januari 29 in the European Go Center, was with 30 players bigger as ever before.
The youngest player (Ferdinand Moltmaker, photo right) was 4 years old (his sister of 2 also knows how to play and both are very talented).
The battle for the first place would go, as it did the last years, between Marcel Riedeman, Yuki de Groot (Champion 2010) and Colin Christiaans (Champion 2011).
In round 5 Yuki(photo left) met Colin, who had beaten Marcel in round 4, which gave us the perfect final.
Yuki won, so he became the undisputed Champion 2012.
Besides a gold medal all the players got several other prizes and, as you can see in the 3 photo maps of this event, everybody (organizers, players and parents) had a great time!