There was a break from tradition as the London Open changed venue. The somewhat noisy but central location of Covent Garden's IVC was unavailable, so the plush Kenilworth Hotel was used instead. The hotel is situated near to the British Museum and Oxford Street, providing interesting diversions. In the museum Pete Marsh, several mummies and even oriental pottery could be seen, but not single reference to Go.
152 players entered the tournament, some half from overseas. Starting at lunchtime on New Year's eve, the timing of the event improved unpopular with some (especially the Scottish), but most played all eight games. Three posh carpeted rooms were used and the playing areas were comfortable if a cramped. Friendships were forged and renewed with our continental friends. Some good Go was played, stories swapped and four days of Go-playing passed quite quickly.
This year, sponsorship was provided by computer firm Hoskyns. Our thanks go to them for making the event possible this year. Their representative presented prizes and certificates to the winners, who all had their photos taken. Also thanks to John Diamond, Toby Manning and Dave Ward for running the event.
Winner was Terry Stacey (5 dan) with 8/8. Winning 500 and a large bottle of champagne, he kept the British honour as Macfadyen, Shepperson and Diamond failed to win more than five. This must have been the pinnacle of Terry's second year as British Champion. His presence would be surely missed in years to come.
Second were Hans Pietsch (4 dan of Bremen) and Robert Rehm (5dan of Amsterdam) both with 6 wins. British prize winners were Brian Chandler (2 dan), Sam Perlo-Freeman (2 dan), Bill Brakes (1 dan), Chris Horton (5 kyu) with 6/8 and B. Butler (21 kyu) with 7/8. Of the overseas winners most were from Lille or Erlangen and cries of "under graded" were heard. From Lille: S. Poisson (6 kyu), Y. Beauchamp (6 kyu) and C. Mavin (14 kyu), from Erlangen: L. Ehler and B. Nossen. Also prizes went to: J. Sun (1 dan China), M. Funke (1 kyu Germany), J-P. Leduc (3 kyu Rouen), Champetier (4 kyu Paris), S. Schwarz (4 kyu Germany), M. Janssens (10 kyu Belgium). Qualifiers were Bill Brakes and Dave Harper.
Piers Shepperson won the 1988 Oxford, that was held on February 20th at Rhodes House as usual. Second was Alex Rix and other prize winners included: Dave Harper (1 kyu), Stuart Barthropp (2 kyu), Stuart Brown (2 kyu), Paul Margetts (5 kyu), Andy Jones (5 kyu), Simon Rudd, Andrew Witheridge, Joseph Beaton and Peter Stanton. The tournament was again well attended. Whether this is due to the attractions of Oxford's bookshops or the Go is open to debate, but it was another good tournament and worth attending. Organisation was by Eddie Shaw and the others of Oxford University Go Club.
Cambridge 1988 will be remembered by many as the place they learnt of Terry Stacey's accident. The start of the tournament was preceded by a minute's silence, and many present would have had Terry in their thoughts throughout the day. Nevertheless it was a successful event. 72 players battled it out for bottles of booze. Matthew Macfadyen led the battle for the champagne. The top 16 players were closeted in a separate room. This was lucky for them as the main Churchill College Exhibition Hall was plagued by cries of "Shut up" and "Silence" at regular intervals. In between the games it was possible to enjoy the spring sunshine, the bar and the excellent Churchill College lunch. A small display of Churchill archives could also be examined.
Eventually the prize giving got underway. Matthew Macfadyen was obviously still celebrating beating British Champion Piers Shepperson, as he was found later in the bar and missed his award. Other prizes were awarded to Oliver Schmidt (2 dan) and Klaus Pulverer (1 kyu) both from Germany, Jon Mould (4 kyu) from Nottingham, Ross Inglis (5 kyu) from Bracknell, Danny Pike (6 kyu) and Eddie Ashfield (17 kyu) of Cambridge, and M. Evington (25 kyu). Thanks go to organisers Andy Jones, Nick Main and Rob Cannings.
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