Irish Open Runs Smoothly
After the troubles caused by the snow at last year’s Irish Go Congress, this year it was played under clear skies and ran extremely well. The Confucius Institute was not supporting the event and so the venue reverted to the tradition one, The Teachers’ Club on Parnell Square. Over the weekend 42 players, including visitors from seven countries, took part in the Go.
This started with the 18-player Irish Rapid on the evening of Friday 22nd March. As usual the rounds speeded up from twenty to twelve minutes and the number and size of handicap gaps reduced as the strong players started to dominate. Tunyang Xie (4d) from Cambridge won all five games to take the title. London’s Xunrui Zhao (3d) and Trondheim’s Juan-Manuel Losada (1d) took the next two places.
The Irish Open got underway two minutes early on the Saturday morning (a record) and ran extremely well for the next two days, if you did not mind the noise of a church service coming from next door on the Sunday. There was always the club’s bar to help wash away any sorrows, and a Chinese restaurant meal and trip to Mulligan’s to look forward to on the Saturday evening.
Tunyang Xie again proved his strength with his fourth unbeaten tournament since coming to England. Locally-based Yisheng Wang (5d) was second with four wins and Mathis Isaksen (3d) from Denmark was third. Two others of the 38 players won four wins: Marc Stoehr (2k Stockholm) and Alex Delogu (4k Dublin).
After the prizes, the Irish Go Association AGM was held (where they rewarded the tournament director, Eoghan Barry, with the presidency) and then a group meal for fourteen at the Kimchi Hophouse, to wrap up a very satisfactory weekend.