146 players from 16 countries attended this at the Highbury Roundhouse in North London. Although part of the European Grand Prix circuit not so many strong players from overseas attended this year, actually all in 1998 this time. After six rounds the GP points were awarded according to the following ranking: 1 Guo Juan, 2 Shutai Zhang, 3 E. Sim (4 dan Singapore), 4 Matthew Cocke (5 dan UK), 5= Matthew Macfadyen (6 dan UK) and T.Mark Hall (4 dan UK), 7 John Rickard (4 dan UK), 8 Francis Roads (4 dan UK), 9 J. Fincke (4 dan D), 10 Caspar Nijhuis (4 dan NL). The top two and two at random from the next six played in the semi-finals: Guo beat Rickard and Zhang beat Macfadyen. In the final Ms Guo Juan, the 7 dan from Netherlands, beat Shutai Zhang, the 7 dan living in London, by half a point. Third in the tournament was Cocke on 6/8. On 5/8 and fourth on tie-break was Rickard and fifth was Macfadyen. Players lower down winning 7/8 were Michael Zhang (1 dan China) and Inez Teles de Menezes (14 kyu Portugal). On 6/8 were B. Maison (3 kyu Belgium) and Anna-Marie van Berkel (10 kyu NL); France Ellul (3 kyu UK) won 5/6. Also all players who won 5/8 who stayed to the closing ceremony received a prize, as did three players in the lottery: Dieter Lanz, Robin Upton and Shastri Stettner. The Lightning was played over two days. The first day saw tables play a five round contest and survivors played another five rounds on four tables two nights later. Then came semi-finals in which Emil Nijhuis (5 dan NL) beat Miguel Teles de Menezes (16 kyu P) on 20 stone handicap, and G. Dickfeld (3 kyu D) beat M. Gonzalez-Carnicier (5 kyu E) on two stones. In the final Nijhuis beat Dickfeld giving 7 stones. The night in between was occupied with the rengo where the teams were selected according to height: the winning team was called Jozu. The continuous 13x13 was won by young Philip Marshall (9 kyu Isle of Man) with 13 out of 18; worthy mentions went to Emil Nijhuis for 7/7 and Ron Bell (9 kyu UK) for 5/7.
Held as usual at the Nippon club two closely matched teams fought a very close match. The Anglos were strong at the top and the Japanese at the bottom. Luckily for the Anglos David Ward arrived in time for the last two rounds avoiding two walk-overs and allowing the Anglos to scrape home by two points.
58 players attended the West Surrey Handicap Tournament at Burpham Village Hall near Guildford. The previous day around 30 pupils learnt better go techniques from dan level teachers Paul Margetts, Des Cann, Simon Goss and Tony Atkins. Topics studied were tesuji, yose, danger points, middle game and handicap technique. Winner of the tournament was David Ward (3 dan London) who beat Jim Clare (3 dan Reading) in the final. Also on four wins were Derek Molloy (1 kyu Brighton), Anna Griffiths (8 kyu Furze Platt) and Alexander Bruckner (8 kyu Brighton). Those on three wins as well as Jim Clare were Tony Atkins (2 dan Reading), Michael Charles (2 dan Stevenage), Marcus Bennett (1 dan Bournemouth), Jim Sadler (1 dan Brighton), Edward Blockley (2 kyu Worcester), Steve Ashing (7 kyu Worcester), Elinor Brooks (7 kyu Swindon), Steve Ashton (10 kyu Brighton), Phillippe Bourrez (11 kyu West Surrey), Graham Horsley (12 kyu West Surrey), Steve Smith (15 kyu Hursley), Kevin Ashmore (29 kyu Brakenhale) and Aaron Dixson (32 kyu Brakenhale). To avoid only David Hall from getting his traditional booby prize all other players were awarded a lollipop, however David did win a game this year avoiding his third duck in a row anyway. In the continuous 13x13 the prize winners were Paul Barnard (1 dan Swindon) for most wins, Tom Blockley (5 kyu Worcester) for best percentage and Francis Weaver (7 kyu Brakenhale) for persistence. Steve Baileys' silly competition for this year was to come up with go terms that mention things botanical, zoological, biological or anatomical. Winner was Tony Atkins with 30 terms, ahead of Pauline Bailey and Neil Cleverly.
70 players attended the fifth Swindon again held at the Allied Dunbar Club. Paul Barnard flew back from Pakistan in time to help Dave King run a well organised event. The winner was Simon Shiu (3 dan Bristol), continuing Simon's run of tournament victories. On 3/3 were: Dan Micsa (1 dan Reading), Niculae Mandache (1 kyu Bristol), Chris Scarff (1 kyu Swindon), David Knight (10 kyu Epsom Downs), Graham Brooks (Swindon 12 kyu), Richard Hawkes (Bristol 15 kyu), Alistair Brooks (Swindon 25 kyu). In the 13x13 Laura Coe (Brakenhale 12 kyu) won a silver trophy nearly as tall as her self for a score of 12/14; the runner up was Nichola Hurden (Brakenhale 18 kyu).
This was held at the Marton Arms in the Yorkshire Dales. This year it was won by Francis Roads (4 dan Wanstead) on tie break from Alistair Wall (4 dan Wanstead) and organiser Toby Manning (3 dan Leamington). Paul Callaghan (14 kyu) also won 4 out of 5.
As tradition the day the clocks went back was the day for the annual pilgrimage to Marlborough Town Hall for the Wessex. Only 100 players attended this year despite the arrival of a new batch from Brakenhale School. One of them, Darren Fairbrother, was rewarded with his first prize by winning the Fred Guyatt 13x13 competition. In the main tournament Tony Goddard showed his strength by winning, beating John Rickard in the last round. The other division winners were: 2 Simon Goss (2 dan Bracknell); 3 Gerhard Stettner (1 dan CLGC); 4 Nick Mandache (1 kyu Bristol); 5 Barry Chandler (2 kyu Reading); 6 David Elsdon (3 kyu West Surrey); 7 Peter Johnson (7 kyu Hursley); 8 George Haig (8 kyu Swindon); 9 Graham Horsley (16 kyu West Surrey); 10 Emma Fairbrother (30 kyu Brakenhale). Of these Simon, Barry and Graham won all 4.
In September Cambridge, as Sonoyama League champions, took on and beat Reading, Thames Valley Champions, by four boards to two. As they had also won the previous London International Team Tournament, all eyes were on them at the autumn edition at the Nippon Club in October. Indeed their top board S. Kim and Oliver Riordan headed the team to victory by winning all four games. The team's 16 points put them ahead of the 13 of the CLGC Oldies, the 11 of Wanstead and Reading and 10 of the CLGC Upstarts and Nippon A. Winners of three games were Messrs. Selby, Shaw, Goss, Leenders, Goddard, Hall, Fairbairn, Ward, Uda, Oe and Takahashi (Ayzen). In the 1997 Sonoyama League Cambridge were again the champions beating Wanstead, Stevenage, CLGC and OU scoring 37 wins out of 50.
50 players attended the Severn-side setting of the Gateway Centre. Returning to claim his normal first prize was Matthew Macfadyen (6 dan Leamington); runner up was David Ward. On 3/3 were: Nicholai Mandache (1 kyu Bristol), Tom Blockley (5 kyu Worcester), Ron Bell (10 kyu Reading). A special prize went to Kath Timmins for 10 years of doing the draw. Thames Valley won the team prize despite Toby Manning not returning the trophy (as he was in Nepal).
56 players attended the Open University and played next to the room where the third and final British Championship game was taking place. 1st was Simon Shiu (3 dan Bristol) who beat David Ward, Des Cann and John Rickard. On 3/3 were Geoff Kaniuk (2 kyu CLGC), Mike Russell (2 kyu OU), Richard Mullens (5 kyu Stevenage), Neil Hankey (15 kyu Epsom Downs). The 13x13 was won and organised by Emma Marchant (8 kyu Brakenhale).
54 players met at Allen Hall Manchester University on the weekend of Diana Princess of Wales' funeral. 1st was Simon Shiu (3 dan Bristol) 6/6; 2nd Matthew Cocke (5 dan Liverpool) 5/6; Colin Adams (1 dan Lancaster) beat John Rickard and Toby Manning, but lost to Simon Shiu in the last round to end with a creditable 4/6; also on 4/6: John Rickard and T.Mark Hall; 5/6 John Walsh (3 kyu Bolton). Kyu players winning prizes for 4/6 were: Chris Kirkham (1 kyu Manchester), Mike Cumpstey (3 kyu Manchester), Tom Blockley (5 kyu Worcester), Jim Edwards (7 kyu High Wycombe), John Turner (11 kyu Manchester), Paul Callaghan (18 kyu Durham).
Four Go events were held over the week of the first Mind Sports Olympiad at the Royal Festival Hall in London. The main event had 20 players. Gold was Guo Juan (7 dan NL), Silver was Shutai Zhang (7 dan China) and Bronze Tony Goddard (5 dan England); Vladimir Danek (6 dan Czech) was 4th. The Weekend Tournament  medals went to Guo, Zhang and Danek with Goddard 4th (26 players). Players doing well for their grade were: Geoff Kaniuk (2 kyu England), Patrice Vicente (6 kyu France) and Dong Jianli (9 kyu China). The medals for 13x13 were incorrectly awarded initially but finally went to Shutai Zhang, Guo Juan and David Ward (3 dan England). In the 9x9 the medal winners were Guo Juan, David Ward and Paul Margetts (1 dan England). Go players winning medals in other sections were Piers Shepperson (Bridge Teams), Paul Smith (Shogi) and Andrea Smith (Jigsaws). The winner of the Owari Gold was the oddly named Low Ten Que, who obviously thought that a "low 10 kyu" was too weak to play in the Go!
This time the go week was held in the small southerly resort of Port Erin. As well as go there was the usual fun and games, with an outing to Peel, a quiz night and a music night, concluding with the banquet and prize giving. 47 players took part in the main event. Winner was Vesa Laatikainen (5 dan SF) with 5/5. Tie-break split the next positions into: Tony Atkins (2 dan Reading), Bob Bagot (2 dan Manchester), Richard Hunter (4 dan Japan), David Phillips (2 dan IOM). On 5/5 were John Walsh (4 kyu Bolton) and Anne Trinks (18 kyu D). On 4/5 was Ian Marsh (1 kyu Bracknell). The three round afternoon event was won again by Francis Roads (4 dan Wanstead), second Richard Hunter, third Bob Bagot. On 3/3 were France Ellul (3 kyu High Wycombe), Bill Rivers (3 kyu Oxford) and Leo Phillips (25 kyu IOM). Ian Marsh won the handicap. 13x13 was won by Gunner Bertram (3 kyu D), but he lost in the Lightning final to Richard Hunter. Richard also won the Rengo playing with Manx President John Atherton. The Team Tourney was won by "Finns and Trinks" who beat the "Dave Phillips Formation Dancers" in the final. In a kanji test set by Richard Hunter, Junior winner was Emma Marchant, Kyu winner was Nick Wedd and Open winner was Francis Roads. The Four Horseman of the Apocalypse won the quiz night. In the Junior event the places went to: Under 16 Philip Marshall, Graham Brooks, Emma Marchant; Under 14 Samantha Hughes, Alistair Brooks, Richard Atherton; Under 12 Katherine Cooper, Clare Franklin, Linda Stone; Under 10 Ronald Atherton; special prizes to Alice Pickering (2/2) and Chris Atherton (3/4); best newcomer Robin Betts.
19 players attended the Moorland Hotel on the edge of Dartmoor. Winner on three wins was Antonio Moreno (3 dan Bristol). Also on 3 were Paul Hunt (3 kyu West Cornwall) and Richard Helyer (9 kyu Oxford). Best on 2/3 were Nobuyoshi Takagi (4 dan Japan) and Sax Impey and Tim Varley (both 14 kyu West Cornwall).
48 players made the weekend at Barmouth. Continuing his winning run was Matthew Macfadyen. 4/5 was claimed by Geoff Kaniuk (2 kyu London) and Ron Bell (11 kyu Reading). Mike Bending of Hursley (6 kyu) got 3 wins and 1 jigo. Klaus Blumberg (1 dan Germany) won the Lightning and Leamington the team prize. Although Alistair Brooks won the being Alistair Brooks prize, it was Yvonne Margetts who won the being Francis Roads prize. Dave Phillips was rewarded for his long journey, Helen Harvey for best accident and Brian Timmins for entering first.
46 players took part at the last Leicester to be organised by Eddie Smithers. Matthew Macfadyen won as expected. Local 6 kyus Richard Thompson and Peter Fisher both won 3/3 and the team prize; Dave Skidmore (14 kyu Nottingham) also won 3/3. The quiz was won by Swindon+ ahead of Brakenhale&Simon.
33 players went to Glasgow University, the new home of the Scottish Open. Winner was Matthew Macfadyen (6 dan Leamington) who is now expected to go on to win the Stacey GP in traditional style. Second on 5/6 was Andrew Jones (3 dan Wanstead), third was Colin Adams (1 dan Lancaster) and fourth Paul Margetts (1 dan Epsom Downs) both on 4/6. The mid-kyu prize for 4/6 went to J-Y Kwon (3 kyu Stirling) and the low kyu prize went to Phil cash (10 kyu Dundee). Also on 4/6 were Nick Bethell (9 kyu Dundee) and Gordon Reid (10 kyu Dumfirmline).
79 players went to Bracknell to its new venue at a village hall on the edge of town. Antonio Moreno (3 dan Bristol) won. Roumanian 1 kyu Nick Mandache won 3/3 as did Edward Blockley (2 kyu Worcester), Ross Ingliss (2 kyu Bracknell), Mike Nash (3 kyu London), Mark Graves (10 kyu Reading), Dave Cohen (15 kyu Royal Holloway), Yvonne Margetts (16 kyu Epsom Downs) and Carl Bate (22 kyu Brakenhale); Carl also won the 13x13.
33 kyu players competed in the adjacent room to the Candidates. Winner was Jonathan Chin (1 kyu Reading). On 4.5 was Robert Jack (18 kyu Cambridge). On 4/5 were Nick Wedd (1 kyu Oxford), Emma Marchant (9 kyu Brakenhale) and Cambridge players Mark Worthington (8 kyu), Matthew Reid (12 kyu), David Firth (17 kyu) and Stephen Wells (15 kyu). Jean Michel did lunch time game analysis of the Candidates games.
1 (6/6) Des Cann, 2 (5/6) Alex Rix, 3 (4/6) Simon Shiu, 4 Francis Roads, 5 David Ward, 6 Alistair Wall, 7 Edmund Shaw, 8 (3/6) Bob Bagot, 9 Matthew Holton, 10 Alex Selby & Alison Jones, 12 Alan Thorton. Reserves (2/6) Ian Marsh, David Woodnutt and Simon Goss.
Held again at the Crossroads Hotel Weedon this was won by Kirsty Healey and Matthew Macfadyen, who get to play at the new Euro-Pairs in Amsterdam. On 2/3 were Alison Jones and Tony Atkins, Jackie Chai and Francis Roads, Sue Paterson and Des Cann. Alison Cross and John McLeod will be going to Japan. In the handicap section the best of the 14 pairs were Yvonne and Paul Margetts, Jennifer Healey and Toby Manning. Best dressed pairs were Alison and Tony, Laura Coe and Paul Hyman. Best (only) beginners were Sue Pitchford and Martin Harvey. Des Cann won the mascot competition with his and hers bunnies.
Players of the Thames Valley hosted the 30th British Go Congress at Royal Holloway College, Egham. In the Open Matthew Macfadyen lost to Alex Rix who in turn lost to Des Cann. On SOS tie-break Alex kept the championship for a second year. Others on 5/6 were David King (1 kyu Brakenhale), Paul Clarke (2 kyu High Wycombe), Mike Bending (8 kyu Hursley) and Paul Hyman (14 kyu Brakenhale). On 4/ 6 were Jay Rastall (2 dan London), Mike Harvey (1 dan Hursley), Jonathan Chin (1 kyu Reading), Simon Rosenblatt (2 kyu North London), Jackie Chai (2 kyu Bournemouth), Joe Beaton (5 kyu Furze Platt), Richard Thompson (6 kyu Leicester), David Cohen and Justin Pearson (both 17 kyu Royal Holloway). Hursley won the Nippon Club Cup. The British Lightning was won by Des Cann. On 4/5 were Paul Hyman, Jonathan Chin, T. Mark Hall, Francis Roads, Colin Southern and Simon Goss. The continuous 10x10 prizes went to Emma Marchant, Jonathan Chin, Jo Hampton, Graham Brooks and Tony Atkins. The Stacey Trophy for most games won above the McMahon bar was won by John Rickard. The Weak Knee Dan (two dan losing the most games) went to Simon Goss. There was no Youth Grand Prix so a special prize went to Thomas Blockley.
38 players attended the resurrected Bournemouth Tournament held this time at West Parley village hall. Winners of engraved glasses were Alistair Wall (4 dan Wanstead), Martin Solity (3 kyu Wanstead) and Paul Betty (20 kyu Bournemouth).
This was won by Reading again with runners up Furze Platt.
80 players attended. Matthew Macfadyen both won the event and lectured on go ethics at lunch time. Winners of three games were Bob Bagot (2 dan Manchester), Ian Marsh (1 kyu Bracknell), Henry Segerman (3 kyu Manchester), Anna Griffiths (8 kyu Furze Platt), David Bennett (12 kyu Culcheth), Jonathan Reece (12 kyu Oxford) and Young Kim (18 kyu Brakenhale). Leamington Beards won the team prize and David Bennett the 13x13.
Held at the Toby Jug in Tolworth Surrey this 18-a-side match saw a tie after three rounds at 27-27. A lightning play-off saw Britain win 3-0.
Held at the Nippon Club 7 teams of 6 players battled for the six monthly title. Winners at their first attempt was Cambridge. Second were Reading and Wanstead. Only Mr Nishida of the Japanese team won all 4 games.
Alison Jones finished first ahead of Helen Harvey, Alison Cross, Kirsty Healey, Sue Paterson, Elinor Brooks, Lena Morrish and Anna Griffiths. Points are scored towards trips to the Women's World Amateur; currently in the lead is Kirsty Healey. Sue Paterson was our representative in 1996.
74 players took part in the Trigantius this year. Also there were the 8 women competing in the British Women's and about a dozen beginners in their own event. One of the local Cambridge teams won the team prize, but it was Norwich's Matthew Cocke (5 dan) who won beating Jean Michel (5 dan F) in the last round. On 3/3 were David Ward (2 dan CLGC), Matthew Holton (1 dan Tees), Howard Manning (3 kyu Cambridge), Richard Mullens (5 kyu Stevenage), David Smith (Tees), Paul Hyman (15 kyu B'Hale) and Graham Horlsey (22 kyu West Surrey). Highest placed kyu players were 1 kyus Nick Wedd and Simon Bexfield. Nick Wedd also won the 13x13.
106 players attended Freud's Cafe, enjoyed a buffet lunch and go by candle light as it became dark. Winner was a visitor, Walthar Warnaar (4 dan), from the Netherlands. Oddly four 2 dans won all three games: Simon Goss (Bracknell), David Ward (CLGC), Yang-Sheng Wang (Reading) and Paul Smith (Cambridge). Also on 3/3 were Dave King (3 kyu Swindon), Jonathan Reece (3 kyu Oxford), Steve Smith (17 kyu Hursley) and Graham Horsley (25 kyu West Surrey).
44 players attended the Wanstead Tournament at Mornington Hall in Chingford with an age range from 4 to 73 years. Winner was Hyung-Soo Park (5 dan Korea) on 3.5/4 narrowly beating John Rickard (4 dan Cambridge) on tie-break. Jim Sadler (1 kyu Brighton) won 4/4. Those on 3/4 were: Alistair Wall (4 dan Wanstead), Geoff Kaniuk (2 kyu CLGC), Martin Solity (3 kyu Wanstead), David Hall (4 kyu Camberley), Tony Lyall (8 kyu Norwich), Paul Hyman (15 kyu B'hale), Carl Bate (24 kyu B'hale) and Ross Chapman (30 kyu Hemel). Mike Charles (2 dan) won the 13x13 and Tony Atkins won the Mornington Crescent prize awarded in honour of the hall's name. The alternative Wanstead Tournament held in St. Anton Austria was won by Clive Hunt of South Africa (who was also quite good at the skiing).
A recent record of 32 players attended the Youth Championships, held again at Brakenhale. Attending for the first time were the Isle of Man and Cambridge juniors. Winner was David King (1 kyu Bracknell).
U18: David King (1k Bracknell) r/u: Anna Griffiths (8k F. Platt) U16: Laura Coe (13 kyu B'hale) r/u: Emma Marchant (9k B'hale) U14: Tom Blockley (5k Worcs.) r/u: Francis Weaver (7k B'hale) U12: Clare Franklin (35k IOM) r/u: Alistair Brooks (28k Swindon) U10: Adam Eckersley-Waites (24k Cam) r/u: Tom E-Waites (19k Cam)A special prize went to Luise Wolf (37k London) for the under 5 section. Many prizes were awarded for handicap games won and for 13x13, so that most youngsters won something.
93 players attended the Furze Platt Tournament, held again thanks to Hitachi Europe at their Maidenhead offices. Winner was T.Mark Hall (4 dan) who continued is winning run in one day events by beating Toby Manning (3 dan) in the last round. Thanks to the sponsors all on 2/3 got prizes as did the following on 3/3: Jiri Keller (2 kyu GLCG), Sue Paterson (2 kyu CLGC), Terry Wright (4 kyu Bristol), Francis Weaver (8 kyu Brakenhale), Anna Griffiths (9 kyu Furze Platt), Pauline Bailey (14 kyu West Surrey), Nicola Hurden (20 kyu Brakehale) and Oliver Edwards (29 kyu High Wycombe). High Wycombe won the team prize and prizes in the 13x13 went to a quartet of youngsters: Neil Ings, Carl Chapman, Alistair Brooks and Nicola Hurden.