Go in Britain: 1992

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.

The first regional tournament of 1992 was a new event held at Furze Platt School in Maidenhead, organised by the pupils themselves. Local player Jim Clare of Reading won the event. Wanstead Tournament was won by Des Cann, Oxford by Alex Rix and Cambridge by Edmund Shaw. Coventry was won by Matthew Macfadyen, but visitors from abroad won several events during the year. Bracknell was won by Ulf Olsson from Sweden and Leicester by the Australian from Japan, John Power. The Edinburgh Club Tournament was won by local organiser David Keeble. The autumn season of tournaments started with Matthew Cocke winning his second Northern at the two-day tournament in Manchester. Milton Keynes was won by Des Cann.

Attendance at the New Year London Open was down this year. It was hoped this was because people were waiting for the summer before visiting England and not a reflection on the previous years contretemps. Mr Tan, the Chinese pro who was invited, could not get a visa, but he attended the European instead. Geoff Kaniuks new draw program performed admirably and there were no hold-ups apart from a delay in registration before the first round. There was plenty of time to relax, enjoy the Brazilian New Year party, play some cards or listen to Neil Symes twenty-verse ballad to the tune of Eskimo Nell on how he lost to Zhang in a previous tournament. In the go, Zhang Shutai won all his seven games, with Matthew Macfadyen topping the group on five. Next came Schoffel, Saifullin, Bogdanov and Popov.

The British Go Congress is normally the next most important tournament after London. In 1992 the venue was Derby Hall at the University of Nottingham. After the BGAs AGM, T.Mark Hall won the final of the British Lightning competition for the second year running, and then it was time for some rousing go songs. in the main British Open another visitor was adjudged the winner: Mark Willems, a Dutch 2 dan, won five games to end up ahead of Harold Lee and Des Cann on tie-break. Francis Roads was awarded the Terry Stacey trophy for the most wins over the previous twelve months.

To choose the 1992 Challenger nearly 30 players met at Covent Garden in May for the Candidates Tournament. T.Mark Hall won all his games but could not play in the next stage, so the next four players went forward. Jim Barty, Alex Rix, Andrew Grant and Alistair Wall met up three weeks later with Edmund Shaw, John Rickard, Harold Lee and Piers Shepperson for the Challengers League, this year in Coventry. Edmund Shaw won six of his seven games to become Challenger again with Rix and Cann in second place. The actual title match did not end until early in 1993.

The British Youth Champion for 1992 was Sam Beaton from Furze Platt School, who was later promoted to shodan. Stowe Schools Jason Cheng took the under-16 title and Adalberto Duarte from Brakenhale School won the Under-14. Furze Platt continue to be the strongest school club, having won the Schools Tournament at the end of 1991 and the 1992 Thames Valley League. At an under tens tournament at Coventry, Graham Brooks from Swindon was the winner.

The 1991 British representatives at the International Amateur Pair Go Tournament, Jim Barty and Sue Paterson, did not do so well in the 1992 qualifier. Matthew Macfadyen and Kirsty Healey won ahead of Andrew and Alison Jones. Alison Jones was the rep at the Womens World Amateur having deferred a year; Alison Cross, however, was placed first in the 1992 qualifier ahead of Alison Jones.

Matthew was missing at most domestic tournaments in 1992, as can be seen by the results, but he attended several abroad. He was a creditable fifth, equaling his previous best, at the World Amateur in Tokyo. Matthew Macfadyen and Des Cann represented the UK at the first Ing Cup. Matthew won Gothenburg and the Volga Boat Trip, but failed to do well in Prague and at the European. With his second at the London Open he scored enough points to be eighth in the European Grand Prix.

Zhang Shutai, the ophthalmologist at London University, had a good year again. He won the Obayashi Cup in Amsterdam and the European Weekend Tournament. He won Paris, London and Milan, and with his third place at the European had enough points to be third in the Grand Prix.

International matches were flourishing among the London players. In a new team match the London Japanese won with 28 wins to the Chinese players 21 and the British players 23. There were other matches between the British, Japanese and Chinese, including the annual friendship match at the Battersea Park Japanese Festival, which the British won.

The high point of 1992 was of course the HITACHI European Go Congress at Canterbury. This is subject to a separate review. It was very successful and was enjoyed by all who were there. It provided a big boost for British Go in the year to follow.

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