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The Sonoyama Tournament

The Sonoyama Tournament is the Cambridge Go Society's end of term small board competition. It is named after Dr Sonoyama Yutaka of Hitachi Europe (now retired) who donated the cup. We play a 6 round Swiss system on 13x13 boards with 10 minute sudden death time limits and full handicaps.

The handicapping system

Grade Diff. Handicap Komi Grade Dif. Handicap Komi
0 1 6 15 7 6
1 1 2 16 7 2
2 2 8 17 8 8
3 2 4 18 8 4
4 2 0 19 8 0
5 3 6 20 9 6
6 3 2 21 9 2
7 4 8 22 10 8
8 4 4 23 10 4
9 4 0 24 10 0
10 5 6 25 11 6
11 5 2 26 11 2
12 6 8 27 12 8
13 6 4 28 12 4
14 6 0 29 12 0

In other words 1 grade = 4 komi, 10 komi = 1 stone, and an even game is 6 komi. These handicaps work very well with a 10 minute time limit but they probably make it a bit too easy for black in a leisurely game. The handicap stones may be placed wherever black wishes and the komi always goes to white.

Past Results

Many thanks to Paul Smith for compiling the history of the earlier Sonoyama Trophy competitions.

62nd Sonoyama Trophy, Michaelmas Term 2013

The tournament was won by Ed Smith on 4 wins out of 5.

61st Sonoyama Trophy, Michaelmas Term 2012

The tournament was won by Jamie Taylor.

60th Sonoyama Trophy, Lent Term 2012

The tournament was held in conjunction with the Junior Chess and Go Club and was won by Jie Lin

59th Sonoyama Trophy, Michaelmas Term 2011

The winner was Brook Roberts.

58th Sonoyama Trophy, Easter Term 2011

The winner was Chris Bryant.

57th Sonoyama Trophy, Michaelmas Term 2010

The winner was Maxime Bourget.

56th Sonoyama Trophy, Easter Term 2010

The winner was Roella Smith.

55th Sonoyama Trophy, Lent Term 2010

With an abysmal turnout of only six players, the tournament was round-robin. Roella Smith 15k won all five games, and was thus declared the winner.

54th Sonoyama Trophy, Michaelmas Term 2009

The winner was Owen Walker 15k.

53rd Sonoyama Trophy, Easter Term 2009

Played in St. Augustine's Church at the Junior club, and was won by Tim Lachlan-Cope.

52nd Sonoyama Trophy, Lent Term 2009

Won by Tom Drake (2 kyu).

51st Sonoyama Trophy, Michaelmas Term 2008

Club president John Richardson (6 kyu) won 5 out of 5, and the trophy.

50th Sonoyama Trophy, Easter Term 2008

The 2008 Easter Term Sonoyama Tournament was again played in St. Augustine's Church, and was won by Mark Hsieh, 27k.

49th Sonoyama Trophy, Lent Term 2008

The 2008 Lent Term Sonoyama Tournament was won by Paul Smith, 2d.

48th Sonoyama Trophy, Michaelmas Term 2007

The 2007 Michaelmas Term Sonoyama Tournament was played in the Clare College Buttery, and was won by club president Andrew Kay (2d).

47th Sonoyama Trophy, Easter Term 2007

The 2007 Easter Term Sonoyama Tournament took place at St. Augustine Hall, with many players from the Junior Chess & Go club taking part. Club president Andrew Simons won the tie-breaker round against Andrew Kay, finishing at 6 wins out of 6 games.

46th Sonoyama Trophy, Lent Term 2007

The 46th Sonoyama was held as usual in Clare Buttery. The tournament was won by Graham Philips (10k), who won all six games.

45th Sonoyama Trophy, Michaelmas Term 2006

Held in Clare buttery to the accompaniment of drunken revellers from the Christmas formal pouring from hall to the bar, the 45th Sonoyama was won by Andrew Kay (5k). Jonathan Chin (2d) finished on the same score of 5/6 and we weren't sure what tiebreak to use: Sum of Opponents' Scores, who won when they played, or sportsmanship; but fortunately Andrew won on all 3 counts.

44th Sonoyama Trophy, Easter Term 2006

The winner of the 44th Sonoyama was Jonathan Chin (2d).

43rd Sonoyama Trophy, Lent Term 2006

Again held in the Clare buttery, Bob Connelly was not available to defend his title. Finishing on 5 wins out of 6 were Alistair Turnball (12k) and recent player Jonny Evans (14k), but the trophy went to Alistair, who had beaten Jonny in one of the rounds. On 4/6 were Will Brooks (3d), David Belius (11k), Owen Jones (18k) and club president Stephen Chester (9k).

42nd Sonoyama Trophy, Michaelmas Term 2005

The 42nd Sonoyama took place in the Clare buttery. Winner on 5/6 was visiting professor Bob Connelly (2d), leaving kyu player Andrew Simmons (15k) close behind on 4.5/6 (bye in round 1). 3rd place was tied three ways between old hand Alistair Turnbull (12k), Ukrit Mankong (3k) and resident Dutch 4 dan Stijn van Dongen.

41st Sonoyama Trophy, Easter Term 2005

The 41st Sonoyama, with 14 players attending, was won with a strong performance from resident Dutch 4 dan Stijn van Dongen on 5/6. There was a large tie for 2nd with Peter Sewell 8 kyu, junior player Matthew Harris 20 kyu, Will Brooks 1 dan and Yoshi Kawamura 3 dan all on 4/6.

40th Sonoyama Trophy, Lent Term 2005

The Sonoyama moved to a new venue - supervision room N7 of Pembroke College. 17 players in the draw and a win for rising star Stephen Chester (14k) on 5/6, with 5 players (including 3 dans) on 4/6.

39th Sonoyama Trophy, Michaelmas Term 2004

In the Latimer Room once again with 16 participants. The evening ended with a 3 way draw on 5/6 between Matthew Woodcroft (1d), Jonathan Chin (2d) and Ukrit Mankong (7k) who took the trophy. Unfortunately the trophy was somewhere in Tom Ford's possession still but Ukrit duly received it in the following term.

38th Sonoyama Trophy, Easter Term 2004

In the Latimer Room once again this time with a relatively small number of competitors. William Brooks (1k) and Tom Ford (10k) both ended up on 5/6 and had identical SOS so Tom took home the trophy, being the lower graded player and not William.

37th Sonoyama Trophy, Lent Term 2004

Back in the Latimer Room, the 37th Sonoyama Tournament was won by Toshio Ohshima (4k), on tiebreak from Chris Goldsmith (5k) and Matthew Woodcraft (1d).

36th Sonoyama Trophy, Michaelmas Term 2003

In our favoured competition venue, the Clare Buttery, 23 participants battled it out for the 36th Sonoyama cup. After 6 games Garry Sturley and Tom Ford (both playing at 12 kyu) were on 5/6 wins (although Garry had beaten Tom in the 6th game by killing a bulky five after a foolish tenuki). The tiebreak was decided on SOS with Garry coming out half a point ahead and choosing his prize of a splendid joseki hankie. Tom left with a bottle of wine. David Evans won the Novices' section and took home the Sonoyama Trophy.

35th Sonoyama Trophy, Easter Term 2003

This time back in Clare Buttery, with 20 participants. It went to a play-off between Charles Matthews and Matthew Woodcraft, modestly entered at 1 kyu, during which Charles cross-cut and Matthew won. Other high scores were David Ward on 4.5, Paul Taylor, Andrew Walkingshaw and Will Brooks on 4, in a field of kyu players who for once seemed accurately graded.

34rd Sonoyama Trophy, Lent Term 2003

Blast-from-the-past Charles Matthews (of Sonoyama 4-6 fame) reprised his historic form to win with 6 games out of 6. Runner up was Jonathan Chin (1 dan) on 5/6 whilst honours for 4/6 wins were spread between Paul `Badly Graded Boy' Taylor (1 kyu), Toshio Ohshima (4 kyu), Will Brookes (6 kyu) and Chris Goldsmith (7 kyu). Graham Sills won 5/5 in the lower division, earning a 14 kyu grade.

33rd Sonoyama Trophy, Michaelmas Term 2002

The 33rd Sonoyama Trophy was held in the Latimer Room, Clare College. In the normal competition, events climaxed in a playoff between two recent Sonayama luminaries, Johannes Nordström (10 kyu) and Phil Hand (7 kyu). The game was decided on time with Phil Hand being the faster player and winning the competition and a joseki hankerchief. The novices' competition was won by Tom Ford after a closely fought final with Bryony (girl of unknown surname).

32nd Sonoyama Trophy, Easter Term 2002

Improving Swede Johannes Nordström retained the Sonoyama Trophy on 12 March at 17 kyu, in a field of a dozen; results in general showing the strength of recently-joined members.

31st Sonoyama Trophy, Lent Term 2002

Johannes Nordström brought back the Sonoyama Trophy "just in case", as he put it. He needn't have bothered, as Scandinavian power won through again for a 5/6 victory amongst 12 players in two-thirds of the Armitage Room, the rest of which was hosting a drinks bash. His loss was to runner up Jon Woolf (on 4.5) in Round 5. On 4 wins were Will Brooks (National U-14 Champion from two days before at Bloxham) and Phil Hand. Promotions for Johannes and Jon to 15 kyu and Phil to 10 kyu, with Will staying at 8 kyu despite piteous representations.

30th Sonoyama Trophy, Michaelmas Term 2001/2002

Numbers being back up to 20, the winner was Johannes Nordström at 21 kyu with 6 wins. He only took up go as a result of being on the next stall at the Societies Fair. Runner-up Phil Hand on 5/6 at 12 kyu.

29th Sonoyama Trophy, Easter Term 2000/2001

This was probably the most bizarre event yet, taking place again in Clare Buttery and somewhat pushed to one side by JCR rave-type activities. In the end it came down to a four-way tie involving Phil Beck (1 kyu), Phil Hand (19 kyu), and Paul Taylor and Simon Frankau at some dodgy grades in between. In the event Phil won on SOS or countback or something. What? Yes, Phil Hand.

28th Sonoyama Trophy, Lent Term 2000/2001

A last-minute transfer to Clare Buttery enabled us to run the traditional end-of-term event for 13 players. Other less traditional features turned out to include the use of a piano, and the Sonoyama Trophy being handily positioned somewhere in Devon. After the typical fairly good time being had (on average) by all, the winner was Paul Smith (2 dan) on 5/6. Runners-up were Paul Taylor at 20 kyu, Hoiping Mok at 13 kyu, Charles Matthews 3 dan.

27th Sonoyama Trophy, Michaelmas Term 2000/2001

Was divided into a main event, won by David Ward (3 dan), who won a splendid joseki hankie, and a Novices' all-play-all, won by Phil Hand.

26th Sonoyama Trophy, Easter Term 1999/2000

Eighteen players took part. After six rounds, both Tim Hunt (1 dan) and Kim Rutherford (4 kyu) had won five of their six games, so a play off was required. This ended in Jigo, so for the first time in the history of Sonoyama, it was decided to declare them joint winners. Honourable mentions for their four wins, go to Ben Morris, Paul Smith and Sebastian Bleasdale.

25th Sonoyama Trophy, Lent Term 1999/2000

This was won by Jonathan H N Chin (1 dan) who won every one of his six games.

24th Sonoyama Trophy, Michaelmas Term 1999/2000

In total, 21 players took part. After six rounds David Ward (3 dan) and William Brooks (10 kyu) each had 5/6, so a play-off was required. They had played already, William winning easily despite some unseemly fooling around in his territory by David. It therefore was something like poetic justice when David threw away the play-off game by ignoring a threat by William to revive a large one-eyed group in the last few moves. On four wins were Sebastian Bleasdale (15 kyu), Jitse Neasen (6 kyu), Paul Smith (2 dan) and Andrew Spray (15 kyu).

23rd Sonoyama Trophy, Easter Term 1998/9

This was won by Paul Smith (2 dan) with 5 1/2 out of 6. Second was Ben Morris from the Junior Chess and Go Club with 5/6. Ben seems to be very good at coming second in go tournaments.

22nd Sonoyama Trophy, Lent Term 1998/9

The winner of the March 9 Competition Night was ten-year old William Brooks (13k) with 6/6, who clearly believes that the principle of the independence of central banks should extend to Go grades. Runner-up with 5/6 was Mark Worthington (6k). Those on 4/6 were Tim Hunt (1k), Jonathan Medlock (14k), Paul Russell (9k), and Paul Smith (2d).

21st Sonoyama Trophy, Michaelmas Term 1998/9

This took place on Tuesday 1st December. It was won by Tim Hunt (1 kyu) with an unbeaten 6/6. This was only the 19th time that Tim had attempted to win this event. Second was Paul Smith (2 dan) on 5/6. On 4/6 were Rob Jack (6 kyu), William Brooks (13 kyu), James Murray (15 kyu) and Duncan Richer (25 kyu) who was the best beginner. There were 23 players in most rounds.

20th Sonoyama Trophy, Easter Term 1997/8

The Easter term 1998 competition was won by Phil Beck (4 kyu) with 5/6 wins from a field of 17 players. Tim Hunt (1 kyu) was second with 4½/6. There were 2 jigos in the event, Tim Hunt vs Yeoncheol Shin and Ruediger Kneissl vs Robert Jack. On 4/6 were Sebastian Bleasdale (21 kyu), William Brooks (13 kyu and the only person to beat Phil Beck), Stephen Wells (6 kyu) and Paul Smith (2 dan).

19th Sonoyama Trophy, Lent Term 1997/8

The Lent term 1998 competition was won by Robert Jack (9 kyu) with 5½/6 wins from a field of 23 players. Also above 3/6 were Pengfei He (1 kyu) 5/6, Stephen Wells (7 kyu) 4½/6, Phillipe Bourrez (9 kyu) 4½/6 David Firth (12 kyu) 4/6, Tim Hunt (1 kyu) 4/6 Seong-June Kim (6 dan) 3½/6.

18th Sonoyama Trophy, Michaelmas Term 1997/8

The tournament at the end of Michaelmas term 1997 was won be Stephen Wells (10 kyu). The 6 rounds finished with both Stephen and Alex Rigeon (9 kyu) on 5/6 wins. They elected to play off and Stephen won. In third place was Tim Hunt on 4/5 wins. There were multiple prizes: two handkerchiefs with go proverbs on them courtesy of Dr Sonoyama which went to Stephen and Alex; and several bottles of wine of dubious vintage that came to light during the term which went to everyone of 4 wins or better. The total turnout was 20, and the tournament was held all in one section.

17th Sonoyama Trophy, Easter Term 1996/7

The winner was Tom Eckersley-Waites, 17 kyu, from the Junior Chess and Go Club with 6/6 wins. Second was Seong-June Kim 6 dan, a visitor from Korea, with 5/6 wins. There were 26 entrants in total, equaling the best attendance ever.

16th Sonoyama Trophy, Lent Term 1996/7

Stephen Wells 22k won with 6/6. Paul Smith 2d and Mark Dalgarno were equal second on 5. Stephen's closest game was a 1-point win against Smith.

15th Sonoyama Trophy, Michaelmas Term 1996/7

24 entrants altogether, including the separate novices' section. The main section was won by Alex Selby 2d with 6/6. The novices' section went to a play-off between Jonathan Medlock and Aaron Smith. Medlock won. This was the first time that there was a competitor from the junior club: Ben Morris, who scored 3 in the novices' tournament.

14th Sonoyama Trophy, Easter Term 1995/6

Again 3 players finished equal on 5 wins. These were Dave Bundy 17k, Tim Hunt 4k and Paul Smith 2d. This tie came about in dramatic fashion when Bundy beat Smith in the last round. Bundy had actually passed in a position where he had less territory, but Paul greedily played on to try to kill a corner group; in doing this he put some of his own stones in atari and lost. Dave Bundy was again the winner on tiebreak.

13th Sonoyama Trophy, Lent Term 1995/6

24 players. Three players finished on 5/6: Dave Bundy 20k, Christoph Bergemann 12k and Alex Selby 2d. Bundy was placed first on tie-break.

12th Sonoyama Trophy, Michaelmas Term 1995/6

26 entrants, including for the first time a separate novices competition. Also the first time we had a visitor from another club who had traveled specially for the tournament: Francis Roads 4d from Wanstead. The winner of the main tournament was Paul Smith 1d with a score of 6/6, while Ben Waldron (20k ?) won the novices. For the first time it was the novices' winner who kept the trophy for one term. The new handicap system was now in force, and for the first time several of the tournament games appeared in Tesuji.

11th Sonoyama Trophy, Easter Term 1994/5

Played on 13 June 1995. I think that John Rickard 4d was first and Paul Smith 1d was second.

10th Sonoyama Trophy, Lent Term 1994/5

Played in March 1995. Results: ?? Suspect that John Rickard may have won.

9th Sonoyama Trophy, Michaelmas Term 1994/5

23 players, the first time that there were an odd number! Jia Ke Sun 3d, David Cristinacce 25k and Demis Hassabis 25k all finished equal first on 5/6. This came about in dramatic fashion when Hassabis beat Sun in the last round with an endgame rip-off after it seemed that Sun had the game won. It was decided that Sun had won the trophy, and Hassabis and Cristinacce should play off for the title of best novice. Hassabis won this play-off. This was the last Sonoyama Trophy organised by Paul Smith. The old handicap system was still in force.

8th Sonoyama Trophy, Easter Term 1993/4

10 players. Paul Smith 1d won with a clean sweep on 6/6. Second was John Rickard 4d on 5, and third Paul Hankin 2k on 3½.

7th Sonoyama Trophy, Lent Term 1993/4

10 players. Paul Hankin 3k won after a play-off with John Rickard 4d; they had both finished with 5/6. Charles Matthews 3d was third with 4. Paul Hankin was the first player weaker than 1 kyu to win, and the only one to win before the handicap system was changed from 3 grades per stone to 2½ grades per stone.

6th Sonoyama Trophy, Michaelmas Term 1993/4

16 players. Charles Matthews 3d won with 6/6. This was the first time anyone had got a hat-trick of 3 consecutive wins, and it was also the first 100% score. Second was Paul Hankin 3k on 5, with John Rickard 4d and Tony Hornbuckle 14k next on 4. Best novice was Tim Waggett 20k, who scored 3.

5th Sonoyama Trophy, Easter Term 1992/3

14 players. Charles Matthews 3d won with 5½/6, the first time that anyone was unbeaten the whole way through. Yong Mao 1k was second on 5 and Paul Smith 1d was third on 4½.

4th Sonoyama Trophy, Lent Term 1992/3

14 players. Charles Matthews 3d won a play-off against Peter Smith 2d after they had both finished on 5/6. Next were Mr Suzuki 1d and Paul Smith 1d, both on 4.

3rd Sonoyama Trophy, Michaelmas Term 1992/3

12 players. The winner was John Rickard 4d with 5/6. Second equal were Alex Ridgeon 15k, Paul Smith 1k and Paul Hankin 8k who each scored 4. Best novice was Chris Monk 23k, who got 3½. First appearance of Tim Hunt 25k, who came last with a score of 0!

2nd Sonoyama Trophy, Easter Term 1991/2

16 players. The winner was Paul Smith 1k with 6/7. Second equal were Dilip Sequeira 10k, John Rickard 4d, Brian Brunswick 14k and William Connolley 2d, all with 5. This was the last time we had seven rounds.

1st Sonoyama Trophy, Lent Term 1991/2

10 players. The winner was Paul Smith 1k with 5½/7. Alex Selby 4k, Ralf Hennig 6k and Yong Mao 3k all scored 5. The best novice was Valker Dicken 25k who scored 3. This was the only Sonoyama Trophy to be played at a weekend.