The Swindon Go Club hosted this year's British Go Congress in the delightful historic town of Malmesbury. Early summer weather made it too good to stay in doors and many took the chance to visit the Abbey or the beautiful Abbey House Gardens.
The Friday Evening British Lightning had 18 players, by a fortunate coincidence, thus making the draw easy – 3 tables of six for the round robin.
The second Matthew in a row has won Arundel. This year it was Matthew Cocke (5 dan Epsom) who was the best of the 26 players, taking the first place previously won by Matthew Macfadyen. Winning all three games were Michael Webster (1 kyu London) and Adan Mordcovich (5 kyu Wanstead). All those on two wins received prizes including runner up Francis Roads (3 dan Wanstead).
p> The 2011 Youth Championships had 24 competitors aged from 7 to 18, with strengths from 2 dan to 30 kyu. The new library block at Bloxham School in Oxfordshire served as a great venue. Mazhar Warraich from Aston won the youth championship with 4 straight wins including beating Tian-Ren Chen from Loughborough.
David Ward (3 dan) won his local tournament, the Cambridge Trigantius, without having to share the title as he did in 2000. 36 players took part at St Columba's Church in the centre of the city. Other players winning all three games were Michael Charles (1kyu St Albans), Brook Roberts (4kyu Cambridge) and Jan Poslusny (6kyu Prague).
Chong Han (5 dan Loughborough) won his first UK tournament by taking with ease the 8th Nottingham. Also winning 3 were Roger Daniel (5 kyu London), Maria Tabor (6 kyu Nottingham), David Crabtree (9 kyu Chester) and Andrew Russell (12 kyu Birmingham). Mike Charles won the 9x9 prize and Toby Manning the quiz prize.
After a two year gap the Oxford Tournament returned, on the same day as the Cheshire, and attracted 51 players. Andrew Simons beat off three London players to win the event. Others winning three games were Sue Paterson, Brook Roberts, Peter Harold-Barry, Richard Wheeldon, Julia Woewodskaya and Kieran Smith.
The Cheshire tournament was rather small this year, thanks to a clash with the Manchester football derby and other factors, but much enjoyed by those who attended. In the top group Alex Rix (3 dan London) was the winner, beating Tony Atkins (2 dan Reading) in the final. In the Handicap Section, the winner on 4/5 was Matt Marsh (7 kyu Sheffield).
The postponed Edinburgh Christmas Open saw a slightly reduced turnout at 33 players.
Having earlier been presented with the 2010 Scottish Championship trophy, David Lee (2 dan Dundee) also triumphed on the day. Runners up on 3/4 were Andrew Kay (4 dan Durham) and Matthew Scott (2 dan Newcastle).
Andrew Simons (3 dan) from Cambridge won the tie-break that separated the top players at the 56-player Maidenhead-Hitachi Tournament. Second was Tom Brand (3 dan) from Reading and third was Nick Krempel (3 dan) from London. Winning 3/3 were David Ward (2 dan), Baron Allday (1 kyu), David Hall (8 kyu), Pat Ridley (11 kyu) and Jan Poslusny (9 kyu) from Prague.
The London Open was again sponsored by the Nippon Club, Pandanet and Winton Capital Management, but attendance was a little down this year, no doubt due to the extremely cold weather and snow-related travel difficulties that immediately preceded Christmas.