Ngoc-Trang Cao (3d), the strong French player from Leamington Club, won the 2015 Wessex. She beat Jim Clare, Sandy Taylor and Richard Hunter to take the title. The only other player of the 34 entrants to win all three games was Roella Smith (9k) from Cambridge Juniors.
As before the venue was St Mark's Community Centre in Bath and the day was very sunny with a chance to explore the city centre or watch the marathon runners at lunch time.
The twice-yearly London International Teams match was back after a break in the spring. This time it was held at the venue of the new West London Go Club, the Young Chelsea Bridge Club, near to Goldhawk Road underground station in Shepherd's Bush.
North London Go Club was run-away winner, their A-team only dropping one game. This means they have now won the last three such team tournaments. Cambridge was second by virtue of their team captain having more wins than that of the North London B-team, whilst a fierce battle for last place was won by Nippon.
Reading Go Club player Alexei Likhtman, 44, died yesterday whilst in the USA.
Alexei, a Physics professor at Reading University, was in Baltimore for a conference. On Sunday 11th October he was exploring the Appalachian Trail in Maryland and was taking photographs at a beauty spot called Annapolis Rock. It seems he was jumping from rock to rock with a camera and tripod when at about 10:45 he tripped and fell 50 feet. Despite the efforts of other hikers and paramedics he died at the scene.
Alexei had moved to the UK from Moscow and had been at Leeds University from 1999 to 2007, before moving to Reading. He was a keen member of Reading Go Club when not travelling and had played at Bracknell and Maidenhead Tournaments. He last played a tournament at 9k, though he was still improving quickly.
The first Sheffield Go Tournament was surprisingly well attended (by 39), which meant they could afford to make modest cash prizes to the winner and runner-up. The winner was Alistair Wall (2d) and the runner up was Paul Smith (1d). On three wins were Matt Marsh (5k), Colin Maclennan (9k) and youth player Zaki Betesh (15k). The youth players were also awarded prizes for two wins (Jacob Haynes (15k), Daniel Gascoyne (18k), Tom Bradbury (19k) and Adam Powell (22k)). Lily Danson won a prize for being the youngest female player in the tournament. In a 13 by 13 side tournament, the overall winner was 10-year-old Edmund Smith (8k) and 10-year-old Yusuf Hussain (22k) played the most games – both won small cash prizes.
There was a very exciting start to the British Go Championship Title Match on Saturday 26th September. It was between the top two players from the Challengers' League: Andrew Kay (5d) who is current Champion and Andrew Simons (4d). It was held in Cambridge, thanks to Geoff Kaniuk, with help of others from Cambridge Go Club, and was broadcast live on KGS.
By lunchtime, most people watching felt that Andrew Simons (playing black after winning nigiri) was comfortably ahead. However it was a quite remarkable game, with big exchanges and ko fights continuing right up to move 300.
Joanne Leung (2d) represented the UK at the European Students Go Championship, held at the Confucius Institute in Cluj-Napoca, Romania. She won three games out of five, including a half-point win over a 5d, to take 6th place out of 14. As second-highest female, she earns a place at the World Student Pair Go Championships in Tokyo this December. Joining her there will be Julia Seres of Hungary, Alexandr Vashurov of Russia and the event winner Peter Marko from Hungary.
Peter Marko won the event on tie-break from Austria's Viktor Lin. Lin earned support to the World Collegiate next July in Canada. Third place was taken by Mateusz Surma, who as a European professional cannot play in these events.
We played our first match of the new season in the Pandanet Go European Teams after being promoted back to the B-League. The match was against the strong team of Hungary. Chong Han's opponent, Pal Balogh, did not show up on board one, giving the UK a won board. Unfortunately the other three were losses: Alex Kent lost to Rita Pocsai and Sandy Taylor lost to Peter Marko, both by resignation, and Jamie Taylor lost a close game to Zoltan Fodi by 2.5 points. This left us 8/12 in the league table.
Alistair Wall got his third tournament win of the summer by taking the Cornish Open title to add to those for Milton Keynes and the Northern. He won the Devon and Cornwall Go stone trophy for the fifth time by beating the previous winner, Toby Manning, in the final. Of the 21 players the others who won 3 games were West Cornwall players Ashlei Bevington (30k) and Jess Bevington (24k) and Jil Segerman (9k Arundel). Tony Atkins also won three games out of four, having played two games in round one. Results
The Saturday before the Open saw the usual teaching session in the morning, run by Toby Manning and Tony Atkins, and in the afternoon the Cornish Handicap rapid play.
Alistair Wall (3d Wanstead) was the overall £100 winner at the 2015 Northern - repeating his victory of 2005. Runner-up (£50) was Mark Baoliang Zhang (1k Manchester). Also awarded prizes for three wins (£15) were David Wildgoose (10k Sheffield) and Daniel Huynh (14k Birmingham). Thirty players took part, including 16 from the Manchester club, and the bar was at 2 kyu. As in 2014, the venue was generously provided by the Bank of East Asia, in the centre of Manchester, and the prizes were sponsored by SAM Properties. About a dozen players gathered after the event for a meal (and some more Go) in Chinatown.
The Isle of Man Go Festival has ended for the last time. This edition was the 12th since the event started in 1991, but with the recent sad death of founder Leo Phillips it has been decided this will be the last.
Again the players assembled at the Cherry Orchard in Port Erin, including several families and players from as far away as Sweden and Japan. There were events daytime and evening on most days, including a music evening, and also the chance to explore the island in between. Players competed in the events for unique wooden trophies (illustrated right).
37 players took part in the Main Tournament played over five mornings. Piers Shepperson (4d Epsom) won all his games to take the title for the fourth time. Sandy Taylor (2d Bristol) won four to come second.