Training Day 2016 Report

Following on from David Cantrell’s three year initiative:  Kyu players’ Tournament and Teaching Day  and the decision at the last AGM of the Central London Go Club to subsidise training, West London Go Club decided to create a new event: “London Go Clubs Training Day”

We got amazing support from Dan level players volunteering their time:

  • Alex Rix (AR)
  • Andrew Kay (AK)
  • Andrew Simons (AS)
  • Jonathan Turner (JT) and
  • Matthew Cocke (MC)

Guo Juan, 5P,  gave a lecture via KGS and sponsored the day by offering prizes of a €50 gift certificate and 4 others of €25. She also commented “So nice to see these top UK players teaching”.

There were five parallel sessions, each of 1 hour, repeated throughout the day:

  • Endgame (MC)
  • Give Territory and Win (AS)
  • Important Stones v Junk Stones (JT)
  • Invasion (AR)
  • Simultaneous Games and remembering your moves (AK)

The day finished with Guo Juan’s lecture  and the prize giving.

And in case registrants thought they would get the lunch time off, they were given twelve Tsumego problems to solve in order to win one of the prizes.

As it was a training exercise, the €50 gift certificate and one €25 certificate was awarded to the best DDK solutions, the other three certificates were awarded to the best SDK solutions.

Including two complete beginners, who were introduced to the game separately,  29 people registered (two for half a day) ranging from 2 kyu to about 20 kyu, with the youngest attendee accompanied by his mum and described by her “nearly 7 years old and 3 kyu on KGS”; definitely the youngest attendee. The split was about 60:40 SDK:DDK

Only 3 people who prior registered failed to attend.  Quite a few registered on the day and these, together with some close call and several late attendees, which brought to mind the Prussian Field Marshall’s dictum “no plan survives first contact with the enemy”: creating groups by kyu on the fly proved problematic and the day wobbled for the first 15 minutes or so.

Things settled down and the next task was to persuade enthusiastic lecturers to keep to time.  Wandering around, the day seemed generally intense with no breakout groups engaging in random discussion.  Given the packed nature of the time table, that no-one seemed to fade and everyone  seemed engaged can only be a tribute to the quality of the teaching.

After lunch the Tsumego problems were collected and with so many scripts to mark in well under two hours I felt immediate empathy for teachers: marking generally and “please write neatly” specifically.  Next time, I will require answers in the form (letter, number), you know who you are.

Luckily (for me) there was not a swathe of perfect solutions and a tie break by weakest grade was needed only for 3rd place SDK and 2nd place DDK.

Guo Juan’s lecture via KGS was well received, with questions and answer voting relayed by some decidedly dodgy typing at times.

Jonathan Turner then awarded the Tsumego certificates as follows:

DDK: Marek Labos €50, George Smith

SDK: George yixiu Han, Malcolm Hagan, Alexandre Kirchherr

Jonathan closed the proceeding inviting comments.  Generally a good time was had by all and the day was considered to have been more than worthwhile:

  • “a very enjoyable and successful event”
  • “all sessions were very good and has nudged my game in the right direction in many ways”

At the end, everyone swept around to return the venue fit for its main purpose. A few people stayed around to play some games and a few others disappeared to the pub for a swift pint.

The day would not have been possible if the Dan players had not given up their Saturday to make this happen. As well as being grateful to them, I can only hope they had such a good time that they will do it all over again…

The report of the day cannot be finished without mentioning Richard Wheeldon. He printed the schedules and Tsumego problems (eliminating himself from the competition) and provided and operated the KGS computer and projector set-up as well as general support in the background.

Thanks are also due to Guo Juan’s  Internet Go School for sponsoring the event and the Young Chelsea Bridge Club for donating the use of the premises.


Alex teaching Invasion


Andrew K running simultaneous games


Andrew S explaining how to win by giving territory


Jonathan on Important v Junk stones


Matthew on Endgame


The pleased looking recipients of the gift certificates:

L-R Malcolm Hagan, Marek Labos, George Smith, Alexandre Kirchherr with George yixiu Han in front.