The 2014 London Open got under way 15 minutes late on Sunday 28th December after a repairing. 108 players in all are expected, with 101 already playing. As usual a large number of players are from outside the UK, with many strong Chinese players as well as players from several European countries.
Also present are three professionals: Fan Hui from France, Dongeun Choi from Korea and Hajin Lee, the IGF Secretary.
Again the venue is ISH at the top of Great Portland Street convenient for seeing London and providing accommodation for those staying over.
The Edinburgh Christmas tournament saw a total of 25 players.
Tongzhou (Joe) Cai (3d Glasgow) sparkled the most and took the bottle of champagne with 4 wins from 4. Prizes for 3 wins went to co-organiser Boris Mitrovic (3d Edinburgh), Alistair Wall (2d Wanstead), Niall Paterson (5k Glasgow), Baron Hasslinger (5k Edinburgh) and Greg Cox (10k Dundee). The remaining two prizes went to Quintin Connell (9k Glasgow) for 2 wins from 3, and Magdalena Mladenova (1d Sofia) as the furthest-travelled on 2 wins.
We were heavily outranked on boards 1, 4 and 5 against Israel, although Tom, Anthony and Hilary acquitted themselves well in the face of grading differences of between 10 and 16 stones.
It was good to see the two U12 players playing a solid game, protecting their groups so there were no major dead groups at the end. Charlotte had a quick win and Dylan had his opponent on the ropes for much of the game. His opponent narrowed the gap, and Dylan resigned, thinking he was about to lose a group of stones. In fact, with a little thought, he could have saved them and would have won the game by about 8 points.