The 60th European Go Congress got under way on 23rd July in Saint Petersburg, Russia. It is being held at the Hotel Azimut, a couple of kilometres south of the historic centre of the city. The event was previously at a university location in the city in 2003.
456 players took part in round one, including seven Europeans with pro status and six players from Britain.
The top four teams of the A-League of the Pandanet Go European Team Championship came together to play the over-the-board finals at the European Go Congress in St Petersburg, Russia, on Friday 22nd and Saturday 23rd July.
The first round saw a win for Russia against France (3-1) and Ukraine beating Romania (4-0). Round two saw a win for Russia over Romania (3-1) and a draw for France and Ukraine. The final round featured the crucial match between Russia and Ukraine. This ended in Ukraine's favour (3-1) to give them the title for the first time. It looked like Romania-France would be a draw, but the clock that had caused a loss on time was found on appeal to be faulty thus France won it (3-1).
So 1st Ukraine (5 points), 2nd Russia (4 points), 3rd France (3 points) and 4th Romania (0 points).
Because of a problem with the venue, the UK Go Challenge Finals scheduled for 2nd July in Aston have been cancelled.
It is hoped to reschedule to the autumn.
The Milton Keynes Tournament moved to a new location within the Open University campus, as someone had thought the weather suitable for cricket making the pavilion not available. The split-level foyer to the Berrill Building provided a very light and pleasant location (except when the dark clouds rolled in), with the lower level suitable for coffee, analysis and game of MK Go. Admittedly there was a lot of sunshine between the heavy rain and it didn't spoil the day of Go-playing.
The 24th Welsh Open was held again at the now-traditional venue of the Min-y-Mor Hotel, in the coastal resort of Barmouth. For those who arrived early, on the sunny Friday, there were friendly games and refreshments in the hotel during the evening. On the also sunny Saturday, there was the usual evening meal held at the hotel, enjoyed by 24 players &/or partners, and the fun continued into the night on the wet Sunday, after the tournament.
There were 35 players in all in the Welsh Open, with 8 players above the bar, at shodan or stronger, competing for a new trophy. This is the Brian Timmins Plaque, kindly presented by his widow Kathleen. Brian's favourite annual tournament was the Welsh Open and he sadly died not long after playing (as he always had) in last year's event.
The Durham Go Tournament was again this year held in the middle of the World Heritage Site on Palace Green, overlooked by both Durham Cathedral and Durham Castle, reports organiser Andrew Ambrose-Thurman.
The tournament had a large number of entrants, including two people who had not only never played in a tournament before but who had never played over the board before. They brought the total to 33, an unexpectedly large increase on last year, and playing was so crushed during Round 1 that we had to go out and obtain more tabletops before Round 2.
On the Saturday night, after Round 3, was an all-you-can-eat BBQ. Unfortunately, after a week of sunshine, the day of the tournament had been overcast - and it started to rain soon after people arrived from the tournament venue.
Andrew Simons (4d) ended in 21st place of 56 for the UK at the 37th World Amateur Go Championship, held in Wuxi, China, from 5th - 8th June.
In the first round he lost to Csaba Mero (6d) of Hungary, then beat Supravat Pal (1k) of India. Jet-lag and a malfunctioning alarm clock meant he overslept and forfeited his third game against Santiago Espinosa-Uribe (4d) of Colombia, but he then beat Gabriel Hissao Makio (1d) of Brazil. Next he lost to Jürgen Suntinger (3d) of Austria before beating John Gibson (5k) of Ireland (who finished on 2 wins, beating India and the Chinese ghost), Leon Rios (1d) of Peru and Emil Garcia (5d) of Mexico.
The British Pair Go Championships returned to the Red Lion in Hatfield and the organisers, Francis Roads and Jenny Radcliffe, were very pleased at the increase to 16 pairs, 8 in each section.
There were three new pairs in the top championship section. One of these was an all junior pair, believed to be the first time this has happened. Champions of the last few years, Matthew Cocke and Natasha Regan, lost to one of the new pairs in round 2, setting up an all new pair final.
In the final it was Joanne Leung and Bruno Poltronieri (pictured) that won to become the new champions, beating Elaine Yu and Chao Zhang into second place.
The eight qualifiers for this year's Challengers' League tournament met at the Young Chelsea Bridge Club (the venue used by the West London Go Club) from Saturday to Tuesday for the 7 round all-play-all tournament. Junnan Jiang and Charles Hibbert finished with six wins each, meaning that no play-off game was required and the two of them will now go on to play in the British Championship title match games. Andrew Simons, the reigning British Champion finished on 4 wins, and given that neither Junnan or Charles have competed for the title before we are guaranteed a new champion this year.
The Scottish Open remained in Glasgow for a fourth year, at the Gilchrist Postgraduate Club. It was again sponsored by the local Confucius Institute.
Hongyi (Henry) Chen (2d Glasgow) won all 6 of his games to top the list of 21 players, winning the trophy and bottle of Talisker. Closest to matching this perfect score was 13-year-old Josh Gorman (13k Glasgow), who came up short at the last to finish on 5 wins.
On 4 wins were the runner-up, Toby Manning (1d Leicester), plus Rob Payne (6k Edinburgh), David Storkey (7k Exeter) and Colin Maclennan (9k Twickenham). These players, plus the seven on 3 wins, were each able to choose two prizes, leaving everyone else with one.