The year started in controversial manner with the result of the London Open. Two soviet players, Ivan Detkov and Alexei Lazarev, contrived to draw their last round game to end on the same score in first place. Amid allegations this was pre-arranged, the EGF adjudicated that the game should be voided, as the players had been unsportsman-like and had failed to cooperate with the congress organisers. That left Michael Katscher as the worthy winner, with Zhang Shutai second. Two novel features were Canadian overtime and bidding for komi, though the latter will not be repeated. Prior to the main tournament, a fast-play tournament was held and won by Zhang Shutai, who is now a familiar figure on the London go scene.
Matthew Macfadyen held on to his British Championship at the end of 1990 by beating John Rickard. Matthew was largely missing from the international tournament circuit in 1991, as he fathered a child early in the year. He was second in the Ing Tournament in Amsterdam, but had a disappointing European Congress. In domestic tournaments he won at Coventry, Shrewsbury, the resurrected Birmingham Tournament and the British Open. The latter tournament was held at Canterbury University as a dry run for the European Go Congress 1992.
Edmund Shaw had a good year with wins at Wanstead, Oxford, Milton Keynes and in the Challengers, giving him the right to play Matthew for the 1991 British Championship; Matthew won the match 3-0. Resident Chinese Zhang Shutai also did well in 1991 with a string of Grand Prix wins and the European Championship to his name. Richard Hunter was a creditable 20th at the European Championship and is obviously benefiting from living in Tokyo.
This year saw an innovation in the first Isle of Man Go Holiday. Some 60 players traveled from the mainland, Eire and the European continent to enjoy a week of go, sightseeing and fun. Winners of the main tournament were John Smith and Thomas Derz, with Jim Clare winning the afternoon tournament and C. Wohlfarth the fast-play event. Matthew was on hand to do some teaching and bird-watching, and the now inevitable go songs were sung on at least two evenings. The week was very enjoyable and would be repeated again in 1993.
In other events the winners were: Cambridge and Leicester - Des Cann; Wessex - Alex Rix; Bracknell - Mark Cumper; Northern - Matthew Cocke; Bournemouth - Francis Roads; West Surrey Handicap - Stuart Barthropp. In the annual Anglo-Japanese match the British team won 53 to 31. Alison Jones was the best woman player of 1991, but deferred alowing Kirsty Healey to attend the Womens World Amateur. Sue Paterson and Jim Barty were the representatives at the first International Amateur Pairs Tournament, earning their place held in a tournament played in Hyde Park during the Japanese Festival.
In the Schools Tournament, Furze Platt School from Maidenhead won the Castledine Trophy for another year. They won several of the age groups in the Youth Championships, but the overall Youth Champion was Mark Simmonds from Leeds.