We took the chance to have a chat with the British player Andrew Kay (‘Warfreak2’ on KGS, 4d), after his win against Turkish representative Bertan Bilen (2 dan).
Ranka: You are famous in the UK for your aggressive style, and we can see in your last game that you won by killing a large group. What is your go philosophy?
Andrew: My focus is reading – everything in go is just a substitute for it. I like to play simple fuseki and fight it out in the middle game. Since I was a beginner I have only played star points – I don’t remember a single serious game since I was 30k when I began with anything else… although of course I have a repertoire to deal with my opponents’ corners.
Ranka: Tell us about the British Championship this year.
Andrew: I will be defending my title against Andrew Simons (4d, ‘Uberdude’ on KGS), my rival since we met in 2006, when we were around 1 kyu. I am looking forward to the match – it should be exciting. Recently he has won about two thirds of our games, so the expected result would be 2-1 to him… there’s pressure to perform.
Ranka: What started you playing go?
Andrew: My brother had a roll-up board and insisted that go is better than chess. “Surely that’s wrong,” I replied. Since then I have been intrigued by go, especially rare positions such as complicated kos and those whose evaluation depends on the rule-set.
Ranka: What do you enjoy besides go?
Andrew: I like to write music… about, well, nothing really. You could call it ‘laptop rock’ – a fusion of computers, synths and guitars. You can listen to all my music for free here.
Ranka: Thank you for your time.
Andrew: Sure. And I’d like to take this opportunity to thank the organisers.
– John Richardson; photo John Pinkerton