Wessex Celebrates its 50th
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. That evening, 35 people ate dinner in the event space in the hotel and had an enjoyable evening.
The 50th Wessex itself was held on Sunday 27th, as usual after the clocks went back. This year it was four rounds like all early editions. 56 players participated, including a ghost, because some players missed one or more rounds. The bar was at 3 dan, and there was a good field of dans, SDKs, and DDKs, including seven under-18s. Nobody above the bar won all four games; the three top players each got three wins. The trophy was awarded to joint winners, Zheng Li and Zeyu Qiu, with Andrew Simons just missing out in third. In addition, there were special prizes this year, thanks to the TMHF and Guo Juan's Internet Go School. Guo Juan provided credit vouchers for kyu players and the TMHF enabled us to buy more and nicer cups and plaques than usual. There were prizes for all players with four or three wins, those on four being David King (4k Bath), Eike Mueller (11k Bath) and Joseph Curtis (17k Cheadle Hulme). Additional prizes were:
Best Performance by a 10 kyu and over: Joseph Curtis and Rahul Surapaneni
Youngest Player: Alexander Timperi (aged 8)
Director's Award: Gene Wong
A special award was given to a player who had to leave before the prize giving: Matthew Macfadyen received a gold cup for winning the Wessex the most times (seven).
There will be a more detailed write up in the British Go Journal covering other aspects of the event as well as more photos. The photo above shows one of the event founders, Paul Atwell, cutting the birthday cake.