CHS Go Club member and Lower Sixth student Thomas has been selected as Captain of the British Go Association’s Youth Team.
Leading the U18s category, Thomas has been chosen following a strong performance in the game over recent months and is aiming to take this year’s British Youth Team to victory in the organisation’s forthcoming Online League (BOL).
As well as playing in the league himself, Thomas who plays at a 5 Kyu rank (just a few ranks off achieving the higher 1st Dan level) says he is looking forward to the challenge but explains that accepting the role of Team Captain is about more than just playing well.
“It’s definitely more complicated than I originally thought,” he says, “There’s a lot of admin involved in selecting the team.”
“The real difficulty is knowing how much to change from last year; finding out who is still up for playing and whether to recruit new players. Last year the team came 3rd in the 2nd division of BOL so there’s a lot to live up to.”
Thomas has only met a few of the current team players in real life but says it’s the social side which gives him the most enjoyment, having recently travelled to play tournaments in France and Germany.
“You do get more into it as you progress; for me, taking part in the European tournaments has been great and doing well in Grenoble was a bit of a turning point,” Thomas explains.
“The thing I most like about Go is the friends I’ve made from playing it – two of my best friends are people I met whilst playing at the tournament in Grenoble and without doubt, the best competition I took part in was over 2 weeks in Oberhof.”
Thomas is currently studying for his A Levels and plans to keep practising his Go strategies to improve his game and hopefully edge him closer towards achieving his ultimate goal of becoming the best youth player in the country. “I will usually play a few games each night when I get home and have taken part in some Internet training sessions led by professional Go players,” he says.
“I’ll probably captain the team for the next few years but then I want to hand it over to someone else; it’s good to keep changing things and get others involved too.”
CHS Go Club co-ordinator and Head of Physics, Mr Mike Winslow said: “Thomas has been improving rapidly this year and he’s done extremely well.”
Thomas and his fellow club players from School take part in their next tournament at CHS this weekend when the students will be joined by a Professional 5th Dan player from Romania, who trained in the birthplace of Go, Japan.