UK Tournament Report
The London Go Centre trustees took the view that the 47th London Open Go Congress would be staged as though the world were back to normal, writes organiser Gerry Gavigan. We thought this was important to help ensure the future health of the tournament. During the registration period it became clear that not everyone agreed with us.
This year, because of no events earlier in the year, the top two British players at September's British Open were selected to contest for the title of British Go Champion. The two players were Daniel Hu (5d) who was equal second in the Open, and Bruno Poltronieri (3d) equal fourth. The match was arranged for Saturday 27th Novermber at a private location in Cambridge and the game got under way about 12 minutes after the advertised start time of 10:30.
Scott Cobbold, a young player from East London, won the 2021 Bar Low with a perfect five out of five. This event was this second tournament to be run by the London Go Centre at its new location and the second of the weekend. Second place was tournament director Richard Wheeldon with four wins. Both players entered at 1 kyu, the maximum grade allowed for this kyu player event.
Yaoling Yang (5d Bristol) won his third event in a row by winning the T Mark Hall Rapid Play Tournament with five straight wins. Finishing second was Peikai Xue (3d Central London) with four wins. John Bamford (5k Oxford) was the other player to win five games, whilst four wins were achieved by Richard Wheeldon (1k South London), Michael Kyle (2k Edinburgh), Tim James (4k Brighton), Gilles Englebert (7k Oxford), Andrew Volovich (9k Cambridge) and Marco Praderio (10k Lancaster).
The Wessex Tournament returned to its usual venue, St Mark's Community Centre in Bath, and its usual one day format, on the day the clocks go back. Eleven of the 25 players were from Bristol Go Club, with the Bath Go Club players making it over half local participation.
Winning all games to add Wessex to his British Open title was Yaoling Yang (5d Bristol). The only other player winning all their games was Alison Bexfield (1d Letchworth), who started below the bar. Results
This year’s British Go Congress, comprising the British Open and the British Lightning Championship, was held at the Novotel Leicester between the 1st and 3rd of October. This was the first face to face tournament the BGA has organised since Covid, and, despite being delayed and short notice, just over 30 players enjoyed a weekend of games.
After cancelling the 2020 Durham Go Tournament, we were keen to run a tournament this year, reports Andrew Ambrose-Thurman, and the only way to do this safely was to take it online.
We weren't expecting huge numbers, but were quite pleased with the numbers a few days before. Then someone helpfully - without us knowing - advertised it with a banner on OGS, and numbers went up by 50% overnight. On the morning of the tournament we had 90 people registered, of whom 70 actually played (around 50 per round, with some people only playing certain rounds due to their timezone). We'd expected most of the entrants to be from the UK, but people played from 20 countries - including places as far afield as America, China, Russia, Finland and Syria. Some of the players were staying up late at night to finish their games, while others were getting up at 4am to play. We even had some people who registered thinking this was their local tournament in Durham, North Carolina.
29 players took part in the BGA's third online tournament, played one game a day over the August bank-holiday weekend. Zherui Xu (4d Cambridge) came out as winner for the second time in these online tournaments and won a £25 Amazon voucher. Second place went to Mark Baoliang Zhang (1k) and third place went to Yangran Zhang (3d) who won £20 and £15 vouchers respectively. A strong showing from Sheffield Go club saw both Teague Johnstone (6k) and Steve Andrews (14k) win £15 vouchers each for winning all three of their games. Another Sheffield prize winner was David Wildgoose, picking up a £5 voucher for the tied highest-placed DDK prize. Dutch player Gérold Nicolasen (10k) picked up the other half of that prize and Gene Wong (3k) won a £10 voucher for the highest placed below-the-bar player.
This year's Mind Sports Olympiad was played online, with the Go events on OGS (online-go.com). 46 players took part in the main 19x19 tournament on the afternoon and evening of Sunday 23rd August. As well as a lot of UK players and quite a few from elsewhere in Europe, there were players spanning time zones from America to Hong Kong. With the bar at 4k the top players battled over four rounds to see who would make the final, whilst below the bar a big group of players played enjoyable games, though some of the handicaps got as high as 19!
As many as 14 of the players were juniors who had quite a late night as the fourth round games ended between 10:00 and 11:00. Junior medals went to Italy's Davide Bernardis (gold) who was also fourth over all, Samuel Barnett (silver) and on tie-break Ryan Zhang (bronze) who unfortunately lost one game because of loss of Internet. Winning all four games below the bar was Russian junior Fedor Dmitriev (10k).