1999 turned out to be a year for professional visits. The HITACHI London Open had two: Liu Yajie from China was in the middle of her three month stay and Nam Chihyoung from Korea was at the start of a quick tour of Europe. Lucky players were able to get a game analysed or even to play the ladies. Yajie analysed the final game to a packed room awaiting prize giving.
150 amateur players were there, 68 of whom were from overseas and claiming 15 nationalities. As usual after six rounds, Fujitsu European Grand Prix points
As the year of the cow changed to the year of the tiger. 146 players from 16 countries assembled in Highbury for the 24th London Open. Again, thanks to our sponsors HITACHI, there was good prize money and the tournament carried European Grand Prix status as usual. After six rounds and three days the Grand Prix points were awarded to Guo Juan, Zhang Shutai, E. Sim, Matthew Cocke, Matthew Macfadyen and T.Mark Hall, John Rickard, Francis Roads, J. Fincke and Caspar Nijhuis. The top two and two of the next group played
The traditional start to the British go year is the London Open, though in 1997 only just so as it ended on New Year's Day. The 23rd such tournament, it was run again at Highbury roundhouse by perennial organiser Harold Lee. It was attended by 150 players, of whom over a third were from mainland Europe. Again Hitachi were major sponsors and the first six rounds counted for the European Grand Prix. The GP placings went to Guo Juan, Lee Hyuk, Zhang Shutai, Danek, S.J. Kim, Macfadyen, Goddard, S. Bae, Cocke and von
1996 started with the traditional London Open tournament held over the new year holiday. Again sponsored by Hitachi, we were pleased to have Mr Imamura presenting the prizes, including the camcorder won by Matthew Macfadyen in the winners' lottery. It was also good to have 140 players, forty percent of whom were from abroad. This time, as an experiment, the first period of overtime was one stone in five minutes to allow reflection on the possible game result. Also new was the awarding of European Grand Prix points after
As usual the new year started with the Hitachi London Open at Highbury roundhouse. A third of the 129 players at the 21st tournament were from overseas; 13 countries were represented. The tournament was very successful thanks to the had work of Harold Lee as organiser and thanks to the generous sponsorship. The Managing Director of Hitachi Leasing Europe Ltd, Dr Motoki Shirasuka, was pleased to be able to present the prizes including one to his son who is a keen go player.
The first tournament of the year is always the London Open and it was held as usual over the New Year holiday at the Highbury Roundhouse. Part of the Fujitsu Grand Prix circuit, ten countries were represented by the 119 players. There were 23 Germans, a party from St. Petersburg, Swedes, Slovenians, contestants from France and Luxembourg, but only one Dutchman (a first kyu of course). Organiser Harold Lee kept all in order and took some out for a Chinese meal on New Year's Eve. It was Chinese who dominated the
As the year of the hen faded into the year of the dog, over 100 players battled at go at the London Open. The opening one day fast play event saw two players unbeaten at the top: Shutai Zhang, the Chinese form London, and Matthew Cocke, the young maverick from Liverpool. Shutai also won the Lightning beating T. Mark Hall in an exciting final. In the Open itself players battled under Ing Rules thanks to sponsorship by the Ing Foundation. However Hitachi were the main sponsors, donating a large TV to the top school - Culcheth from Cheshire. Shutai again won all his games to
Although most go effort revolved around the European at Canterbury in 1992, there was growth in the number of regional tournaments, in tournament attendance and in membership.