Xin Shu wins the Belgian Championship 2024, Lucas Neirynck Belgian Champion

For this year Belgian Championship the 3 favorites were Lucas Neirynck, Jan Ramon and Xin Shu.

Jan (4-d) has been champion 3 times and Lucas (6-d)...12 times ! The newcomer, Xin Shu (5-d), is a student from China who arrived in Belgium last year for studies.
On the belgian rating list, Lucas (6-d) was number 1 but Xin is very close behind. In the Paris tournament in which they both participated, Lucas finished 8th and Xin 7th. Lucas has won the Orsay tournament this year, and Xin Leuven and Lille. The participation of Xin therefore promised to provide a bit of suspense !

  • Saturday, in the second round Lucas met Xin and after a dense fight, Lucas took the first win between the two players.
    Of course, Xin stayed in the championship with this only loss, because the final stage of the Belgian Championship is a double elimination tournament.

    As a result this Sunday only 4 players were still qualified: Lucas, Xin, Jan and Guillaume.
    Jan Ramon was sick this Sunday and therefore lost by forfeit.
    Guillaume lost against Lucas, leading to the expected final: Lucas - Xin.

  • In this final, Lucas only had to win once to be the winner, while Xin had to win two games.

    In the 1st game, after a flying dagger opening (!), Xin took a clear lead and kept it until the end of the game.

    A second decisive game was thus needed to define the winner of the tournament.
    It went into a complex middle game fight in which the hoshi wall of Lucas got attacked.
    With a convincing play, Xin managed to secure the net around this big fish to kill it, winning the second game and the tournament.

    Congratulations to Xin for winning the 2024 Belgian Championship !

    As best player with the Belgian nationality, Lucas Neirynck retains his national title of Belgian Champion, ahead of Guillaume De Kijser (vice-champion) and Jan Ramon. Applause for everyone ! :)

  • During the post-game interview, we inquired about Xin Shu's secret.
    He does 20-30 minutes of Go problems every day and 2 – 3 serious games at the club per week.

    Games detailed report

    Game 1 SGF on OGS commented by Xin himself !*

    * If you don't see the comments, download the SGF and open it with your favorite SGF reader.

    Nigiri gave Xin black stones. Both opened with a double Hoshi. On move 5 san-san invasion was played by and it went to a complex Flying Knife joseki. After a couple of mistakes at moves 40 and 42 and the turn of 43 (AI assessed it was a 16 point mistake), there were a few big moves, then a ko on the top left leading to a trade where Black takes the corner and splits the top and White manages to link underneath his weak stones - but this was not good enough for the AI. The lead did grow again a bit. Lucas then rolled up his sleeves and before move 156 the difference went to less than 8 points. Lucas got more solid territory, but black had great influence around the center. Luces said after the game that at this point he estimated that he got to go as deep as 156 to get a chance to come back. That didn’t make it back and at the end of the game Xin got his first victory against Lucas in this tournament.

    Game 2 SGF on OGS commented by Xin himself !

    After a short break before the final game of the competition, both players opened with Hoshi’s, and early 3-3 invasion by Xin again. This time Lucas chosed a more solid joseki than usual. Move 37 in particular is going for influence. After move 76 the game is still close but White has more cash, it’s on Black to go get some points. Lucas puts the pressure on with move 77. Xin replies with a powerful counter peep and defends actively - and a good defense is a strong offense, isn't it ? Strong pincer to black served also as base for his weaker stones. Xin defends and after the hane of 90 tenukis and gets a huge move at 92 first (AI estimates 7 point difference there). Lucas now got to solve a complicated tsumego, where every move is dangerous, Xin gets some more valuable stones on the outside. Move 133 Lucas managed to make an eye but in Gote and Xin goes for the kill. Lucas didn't make it through and after Xin played a nice tesuji to prevent a second eye, Lucas resigned.