The Swindon tournament was back after a one-year break, with different premises and alternative day (Saturday). The new venue was the Swindon Conservative Club, situated in the old town, with its own free parking. Nearby is the town's museum, which provided an interesting distraction for some.
The winner was Alistair Wall (2d Wanstead), who beat Ngoc-Trang Cao in the final. Prizes were given for three wins to George Han (18k No Club) and for 2½ wins to Paul Barnard (2k Swindon).
We were drawn against Belgium in our first match of the new season of the Pandanet Go European Team Championship B League. We won the match 3-1.
Chris Bryant said: My game went pretty smoothly - played unorthodox fuseki to make my opponent uncomfortable and built up a massive centre. Made a couple of silly reading mistakes but kept enough to win by 1.5.
Des Cann wrote: Not happy with my game. Played a bit vague in the early middle game and soon found myself forced to defend where I was attacking. Never recovered.
Daniel Hu wrote: My opponent played some solid joseki. I didn’t bother to invade. Then a few more of that most basic 4-4 joseki. He entered my side, but I just made good shape and didn’t bother to attack, and he built up his side. I was behind before the endgame, which already started at move 89, but he let me get the largest move (115) and I repeatedly gained those 1-2 points as he got into byo-yomi early. I won by 4.5 and still had 5 minutes left.
The Cornwall Tournaments were held, as last year, in The Lugger on Penzance's seafront. This time the weather was good enough to sit outside between games, as long as you did not mind the odd sea breeze. The Saturday started with the traditional teaching session led by Toby Manning and Tony Atkins, on subjects such as the middle game and basic life-and-death shapes.
The afternoon of the Saturday was the Cornish Lightning Handicap Tournament, with neatly 16 players taking part. The player who came out unbeaten, despite the grade-difference-plus-two handicap, was Tony Atkins (1k Reading). He beat Peter Collins (4k Bristol) in the final.
18 players took part in the Cornish Open on the Sunday.
The Northern - held annually since 1975 - stepped back to its educational roots this year, with a new venue at Cheadle Hulme School (CHS) in Cheshire. The very attractive and spacious venue attracted 37 competitors (23% up on last year). Most encouragingly, 11 competitors were youngsters.
The winner was Xinyi "Sugar" Liu; she is a 3 dan from China studying in Manchester. She won a cash prize and the Red Rose Trophy, seen receiving it from organiser Chris Kirkham (with CHS' Head of Physics - Mike Winslow behind).
Baoliang Zhang, 1 kyu from Manchester, was runner-up.
The 20th Mind Sports Olympiad was held, like the previous two editions, at the JW3 centre in London's NW3 district. As usual hundreds of games enthusiasts came together to compete for medals in many different games, both ancient and modern, unusual and traditional, including Go. This year the Go prize money was increased, thanks to support of the MSO by Google DeepMind and other sponsors. This meant big increases in turnout for the Go events, and it was also good to see that about half the players were women and children. The two small-board Go events were played on Sunday 28th August, and the Open on Bank Holiday Monday, 29th August.
The 9x9 had a pleasing 17 players. Michael Webster was unbeaten to take the gold and the sixty pound first prize.
Fortunately Southern trains were working properly so the Londoners arrived without mishap, and, despite a few withdrawals for illness and the like, 20 players made it to Sussex for the 2016 Arundel Tournament. Any non-playing partners who came along could enjoy some of the cultural activities of the Arundel Festival which was on, whilst their other halves sweated over the Go board.
The tournament was won by the London Open winner Sai Sun, 5d, who had flown in from Beijing a few days earlier and is pictured with the Arundel Trophy. The runner up was Romania's Lucretiu Calota, 4d, from St Albans club. Other prizewinners were Jil Segerman with 3 wins, and Peter Collins, Malcolm Hagan and Steve Bailey who all won their first two games.
The first game of the 2016 British Go Championship best-of-three title match was played on Saturday 20th August, at a private venue near Oxford. The two players were in their first finals having been the top two with six wins each in the Challengers' League back in May: Charles Hibbert and Junnan Jiang.
The game was relayed on KGS, thanks to Matt Marsh, starting about ten minutes later than its 10:30 advertised start. In a clone of the game, Matthew Macfadyen reviewed the game whilst in progress. The game continued after the usual lunch break (the time limits are three hours each), and came to a climax when Junnan was in overtime and failed to reverse his bad position, with the resignation coming after move 211 at about 17:15.
British Go Journal 176, including a short story by author Bill Brakes, is now available online to members at http://www.britgo.org/bgj/bgj176
The 60th European Go Congress ran from 23rd July to 6th August in Saint Petersburg, Russia. It was held at the Hotel Azimut, a couple of kilometres south of the historic centre of the city. 456 players took part in round one, including seven Europeans with pro status and six players from Britain.
Winner of the Main Tournament was Kim Young-Sam 7d. It was a very narrow result as four players had 8 points by the end of round 10. Ilya Shikshin 1p was second place with merely 1 SOS point fewer than Kim. Third was Chan Yitien 7d with the same SOS as Ilya, but 2 fewer SODOS points. A very close and exciting finish!
Ilya Shikshin had earlier in the fortnight become the European Champion by beating Israel's Ali Jabarin 1p in the championship final. Ali was also fourth in the Open. Kim Young-Sam also won the Weekend Tournament and the Pair Go with Manja Marz.
See all tournament results
The top four teams of the A-League of the Pandanet Go European Team Championship came together to play the over-the-board finals at the European Go Congress in St Petersburg, Russia, on Friday 22nd and Saturday 23rd July.
The first round saw a win for Russia against France (3-1) and Ukraine beating Romania (4-0). Round two saw a win for Russia over Romania (3-1) and a draw for France and Ukraine. The final round featured the crucial match between Russia and Ukraine. This ended in Ukraine's favour (3-1) to give them the title for the first time. It looked like Romania-France would be a draw, but the clock that had caused a loss on time was found on appeal to be faulty thus France won it (3-1).
So 1st Ukraine (5 points), 2nd Russia (4 points), 3rd France (3 points) and 4th Romania (0 points).