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.
The 19th MSO at the JW3 on Finchley Road in London was dominated in the Go events by Aja Huang and Joanne Leung (shown right playing Lucretiu Calota).
In the first Go event, the 9x9 on the Sunday morning, Joanne Leung won all four games to take the gold medal. Silver went to the event arbiter Tony Atkins and bronze and junior gold went to Edmund Smith. Results
In the second event, the 13x13 on the Sunday afternoon, Aja Huang won the gold, pushing Joanne back to Silver. London teenager Kapriel Chiarini took the bronze medal. Results
On the Bank Holiday Monday. 14 players gathered for the main Go event. After three rounds the only players unbeaten were Aja Huang and Lucretiu Calota.
After a year's gap because of the British Go Congress and European Youth at nearby Bognor, the Arundel Tournament was back. This time 24 players met up to play, again at the football club.
The winner was Lucretiu Calota (4d Romania) who beat Jon Diamond (3d) in the final round. Also winning all three games were Peter Collins (4k Bristol) and Charlotte Bexfield (10k Letchworth).
The 9x9 side event was won by Edmund Smith (on 4/4) and second was Charlotte Bexfield (on 2/5).
Karl Irwin was victorious in the recent twelve-player Belfast tournament with a perfect 5/5. He has been teaching Maths in China, and presumably also studying Go as he entered at 4d.
James Hutchinson (1d) was second, his seventh year in a row to make the top three without winning. In third place was visiting Louise Roullier (5k) from France. Jose Morales, 24k Belfast, won 4/5 handicap games.
35 players gathered in the sunny Open University Sports Pavilion for the 27th Milton Keynes Go Tournament. The main tournament was another win for Alistair Wall (2d Wanstead). Second place went to Nyoshi (Ngoc-Trang Cao 2d), who beat the tournament organiser (Tim Hunt 2d) by half a point in a hard-fought game in round 2, but, as previously announced, she had to leave a round early. The excuse was quite good. She and her friend Jitka Bartova wanted to get back to Leamington to hear Matthew Macfadyen and Kirsty Healey singing in a concert.
Also on 3 wins were another organiser Ben Ellis (3k), Andrew Russell (4k Birmingham), Edwina Lee (6k Maidenhead) and Joey Capper (10k)
Perhaps more importantly the Milton Keynes Go side event was won with a perfect and persistent eight out of eight by Edmund Smith. Special mention should also go to Steve Bailey with seven out of nine.
The 23rd Welsh Open was held at the Min-Y-Mor Hotel in Barmouth again, but organised by Martin and Helen Harvey this year, having been staged for many preceding years by stalwarts Tony and Sue Pitchford and helpers. Over the two days, 26 players took part, with the bar at 1 kyu. Encouragingly, all but two players chose to play in the extra (6th) round. This year the playing areas were in two very nice rooms within the hotel (Bistro Room & Family Room) - a change which, whilst forced, was well received.
The weather was overcast most of Saturday, but brightened up on Sunday afternoon. The traditional evening meal on the Saturday was again arranged, and attracted 20 people. The organisers were grateful for this support, which helps keep the hotel management sweet!
Durham Go Tournament 2015 started with a fascinating two hour teaching event on the Friday night from Chi-Min Oh (7d), who talked for an hour about trick plays and then logged into KGS to analyse and review some people's games at random while they were playing them - demonstrating in some cases that it's not just kyu players who make silly mistakes! It was especially good of Chi-Min to run this, as it was his last day in Durham before travelling back to Korea.
The tournament itself had 29 entrants, ranging in strength from 3d to 22k, and was held again in the Pemberton Rooms.
The silver jubilee edition of the British Pair Go Championships was held, like last year, at the Red Lion in Hatfield. In order to make the top group up to eight, a non-qualifying pair was added as ghosts, but then another all male pair had to be added as further ghosts as one pair failed to arrive. This did not affect the results as the winners, like last year, were Natasha Regan and Matthew Cocke. The next three places were the same pairs as last too (but slightly different order) and the Fighting Spirit Prize was won this time by Anna Griffiths and Tony Atkins.
In the Handicap Section the new winners were youngsters Charlotte Bexfield and Alex Terry, second and third were as last year and the fighting spirit prize went to the youngest pair: Sophie Ellis and Oscar Selby.
The third consecutive Scottish Open in Glasgow, and the second sponsored by the local Confucius Institute, saw 23 different players converge on Glasgow University.
After the dust had settled Tongzhou (Joe) Cai (3d Glasgow) remained undefeated on 6 wins to take custody of the cup, plus £50 cash and chocolate truffles.
Below the bar, the 4-8 kyu division saw a tussle for the prize between local clubmates Niall Paterson (5k) and Joseff Thomas (8k).
This year's Challengers' League, played between the top 8 available players coming out of the Candidates' Tournament, took place at the Goddard Arms in Swindon on the second May Bank Holiday weekend. Paul Barnard and Nick Wedd kindly officiated the proceedings.
Andrew Kay (the reigning British Champion) won all of his games to lead the field, followed by Andrew Simons who won all of his games except for his game against Andrew Kay. Charles Hibbert, playing in his first Challengers' League, finished with 4 wins in third place. Tim Hunt and Alistair Wall were next, with 3 wins each, followed by Richard Hunter and Harry Fearnley on 2 wins each. James Hutchinson completed the field with one win.
Being the top two players at the end of the Challengers' League, Andrew Kay and Andrew Simons will now go on to play for this year's British Championship title.