UK Tournament Report
There was a strong entry at the Oxford Tournament. There were five players at 4d and above, and a further five at 3d; all bar one from Romania were of oriental origin. The event had changed back from May to its traditional February date, not far from Valentine's Day, with no clash as Cheshire is in March in 2020 and not February.
The venue was the same though, the former meeting house that is now Oxford Deaf & Hard of Hearing Centre, shown left, tucked behind the new Westgate Shopping Centre. This time 62 players took part, up from 57 last, but a further 14 novices played their own event in the back room during the afternoon.
It was all fun and games at the Hitachi-Maidenhead Tournament. The selection of games available as prizes is shown left. Also non-playing organiser Alison kept other non-players and early finishers amused with various card and dice games. In the Go 35 players battled over three rounds with London's Peikai Xue (2d) being unbeaten to win the event. Runner up this time was Jon Diamond (2d), third was Jacob Zhang (4d) and fourth Kalle Timperi (1d). All those on two wins got the choice of one of the prize games, wine or cash as a prize, whereas those on three wins got two of the three choices. Those on three were Gokul Ramanan Subramanian (3k Cambridge), Oliver Bustos-Langton (6k Keele) and Oliver Bardsley (17k Sir John Lawes). Best school team, winning some old Go World magazines was Sir John Lawes.
26 players (and a few hangers-on) attended the second Harpenden Go Tournament (previously the Welwyn Garden City Go Tournament) on Sunday 12th January, which had an upped entry level of 1 dan. It was held again in the Harpenden Arms Public House, which still had its Christmas Lights up to honour the tournament, which wouldn't have happened on last year's March date. Afterwards some of the players enjoyed dinner at a local Italian restaurant.
Toby Manning (1d) was the overall winner, just clinching the final game of the final round against Michael Webster (1d), by a small margin, as shown above.
Nineteen participants ranging in age from mid-teens upwards, from eight countries took part in the traditional London Open Rengo tournament on the afternoon of New Year's Eve. We could have had eight teams, reports Jenny Rolf-Radcliffe, but that would have lent itself to a boring number of pairs. Thus we had two fours, three threes and one pair to make the games more interesting - after all, a large part of the fun of Rengo is to have games between teams of different sizes. This year was very balanced; at the end of three rounds there were no teams on zero wins and just one team on three wins. The unanimous decision was made to stop playing while we had a clear winner, and to get on with the eating, drinking and talking phases of the evening.
On the 28th December, dozens of people assembled in the capital for the London Open (the 46th), held this year for only the second time at the current London Go Centre. Despite the fact that more entrants were allowed this year (one hundred), there were a fair number of 'no-shows' which meant just 87 players actually took part. This was disappointing and unfair to the people on the waiting list who couldn't enter because the entry limit had been reached; organiser Gerry Gavigan will make sure that next year only those who have paid the full entry fee on booking will be guaranteed a place.
Sixteen countries fielded players with ages ranging 'from seven to seventy-seven'. The grades ranged from 7d to 16k; both stronger and weaker players were well represented with 28 dan players and 15 Double-digit kyus, six of whom were from Cheadle Hulme School (CHS).
This longstanding event returned with a bang this year. After several years of poor attendances there were 24 entrants, with a good spread of grades and seven players above the bar, set at 2k. The outright winner was Matthew Scott (1d) with 4/4. Prizes were awarded to all six players on 3/4: Joel Barrett (4k Manchester), Josh Gorman (4k Glasgow), Quinlan Morake (5k Glasgow), Yun Lu (8k Edinburgh), Frankie Higgs (11k Lancaster) and a visitor from Belgium, Alexandre Terefenko (6k). Nick Gotts (10k Edinburgh) also won a prize for being the highest DDK.
This year's debutant organiser, Adrian Abrahams reports:
There was very nearly no Three Peaks competition this year, after I failed to confirm the venue's booking at the Wheatsheaf pub in Ingleton. Fortunately, I got an eleventh-hour reprieve, when Ai Guan from my own club Lancaster pointed me in the direction of the Ingleton Boy Scouts hut.
Barring a cataclysmic act of nature, the Three Peaks WILL be back at the Wheatsheaf next year.
The three-player teams played three rounds, with Cambridge emerging the winners by six boards to three.
The Oxford players were Alexandru-Petre Pitrop, Han Yang and Guodong Cao, and the Cambridge players were Tony Tunyang Xie, Doha Chris Lee and Zherui Xu. They are shown with non-playing John Bamford from Oxford University.
R1: Cao 0:1 Xie; Pitrop 0:1 Xu; Yang 1:0 Lee
R2: Pitrop 0:1 Lee; Yang 0:1 Xie; Cao 0:1 Xu
R3: Yang 1:0 Xu; Cao 1:0 Lee; Pitrop 0:1 Xie
The Wessex Tournament celebrated its 50th edition by making 2019 a special two-day event. Sponsorship from the T Mark Hall Foundation enabled the nice, but expensive, venue of the Bristol Village Hotel, in Patchway just north of Bristol. Fittingly T Mark had been a member of Bristol Go Club, a great fan of lightning Go and a four-time winner of the Wessex.
The main event on the Saturday afternoon was the T Mark Hall Lightning (played with handicaps). It was won by Peikai Xue, who defeated Carl Roll in the playoff between the two division winners. Both received cups. For non-players, there were kyu-level teaching sessions taught by Richard Hunter and Youngjin Noh.
On a pleasant autumn day, Cheadle Hulme School once more hosted the 3-round "Northern" tournament, with 32 players competing - 11 of them CHS pupils. The latter included an intrepid foursome in the first year at CHS, who'd scarcely played on full boards before – but nonetheless had great fun, and learned a lot on the day! We were also pleased to see players who had travelled from as far as Edinburgh and Lincoln.
The overall winner was Jingchen Sun, a 3 dan from China, pictured receiving the winner's cash prize from time-honoured organiser, Chris Kirkham. Jingchen was also awarded the Red Rose Shield, in use since 1975.