There was a pleasingly high turnout for the 2012 British Go Congress, held again in Durham for the first time since 1996.
On the Friday evening, 30 players gathered in the magnificence of Durham School's dining hall, for the British Lightning. This year held as a five-round handicap Swiss tournament, the last round saw two former Durham players battling it out to win: Andrew Kay (4d, now of South London) was ultimately victorious over Alex Kent (2d, now in Bristol). Results
On Saturday morning 63 players congregated in the more prosaic concrete environment of the Students' Union for the British Open itself. After three rounds of Go, the BGA held its AGM; no doubt reports will be provided by officials, so the important thing to note from the tournament perspective are that the meeting was so unexpectedly short that San Marco's restaurant, booked for a meal for 30 players to follow the AGM, wasn't yet ready when we arrived!
Sunday's games provided some unexpected results, as a player new to the UK, Malcolm Pang of Teesside, entered below the bar, looked fit to win all his games when no one above the bar was able to do so. However, Andrew Kay fought to a narrow victory over Malcolm, and was declared the winner over Andrew Simons (3d, Cambridge), who was also on five wins out of six, by tie-break. Not content with winning both the British Lightning and the British Open, Andrew Kay also won the Durham Lightning self-paired side event, and was on the London team who won the Nippon Club Cup with a 73% win rate (his teammates there were Andrew Simons, Richard Mullens who was also on five wins, Ludan Fang and Julia Woewodskaya). The Small Board side event was won by Alice Ambrose-Griffith of Durham; Richard Mullens and James Brownrigg (Chester) also won prizes for five wins, and Alex Kent was finally awarded his 2d certificate. Results
The participants thanked Jenny Radcliffe for running the draw and Andrew Thurman and Alice Ambrose-Griffith for organising the tournament, and after reminding ourselves to go to Stevenage for next year's British Go Congress, we repaired to the pub.