British Go Journal No. 65. July 1985. Page 6.
by Matthew Macfadyen
The British Congress in Worcester followed many of the honoured traditions of this most traditional of British Go events - lightning games on Friday evening, the desperate rush to finish the AGM before the bar closes, the other desperate rush to reach the station after the closing ceremony, all the bits in between with no desperate rush at all, except perhaps to get back from walks by the Severn before the rain starts.
One feature which will not be repeated in future years is the bit of the AGM where the committee (oops, council) sit and bite their nails while waiting to see if the meeting sets a workable subscription (see p.3).
In 1976 about 19 of the top 20 British players went to the British Congress. Since then the attendance of stronger players seems steadily to have declined. This year none of our 5-dans or 4-dans were present, and there were only two 3-dans (one of whom, Francis Roads has subsequently demoted himself).
This may be the price to pay for having tournaments every other weekend, or may just be a symptom of the general flaccidity of British Go. Certainly it seems to point a questioning finger at the 'dan count' - the only number on the secretary's report which keeps going up.
As to the tournament. Candidates qualifying places for 4 wins out of 6 went to Alistair Thompson (1-dan) and Chris Kirkham (1-kyu). Ex-BGA president Richard Granville (3-dan), had a respectable tournament scoring 4/6, losing only to me and John Smith, one of our strongest 2-dans (no longer - he has since his been promoted to 3-dan). With 4/6 John tied with Brian Chandler to be the best of the six nidans present.
Further down the rankings, five bottles of perry for scoring 5/6 went to: I. Hopping of Stevenage (20-kyu), I. Docherty of Crewe (17-kyu), and C. Wright of Nottingham (4-kyu).
And I almost forgot, I won lots and lots of bottles of perry for scoring 6/6.