April Rip-Off: Go, Panic, Victory

Top Left: Byoung-Ju Lee. Bottom Left: Joseph Learoyd. Centre Top: Tiberiu Gociu. Right: Matej Duricek

A great day was had with fun and games aplenty. 16 players showed up to battle over the goban, from 20 Kyu to 3 Dan. It is great to see those who are new to the game show up to a competitive tournament. Learning comes in many forms but the best learning experience is found when a game is taken seriously, rather than simply a casual game, and the players go over variations afterwards. Especially if you can have a strong player offer advice.

On the administration side of things, this was my first time organising a Go tournament, so I was mildly stressed and hoping nothing would go wrong. All was going well until mid-way through the first round when my laptop gave me the Blue Screen Of Death. I had the tournament settings saved but all registrations and pairings were eviscerated. With a heart attack forming, I restarted the computer and had no choice but to register everyone again, luckily there weren’t too many, but how would I deal with the pairings? If they ended up completely different than what is already taking place then I was in for a serious issue. With a stroke of luck every single pairing was the same, including colours and handicaps. I give thanks to the algorithm gods.

Without knowing if my laptop would die at any second in the future, many saves of the file were had for the rest of the day. And as long as my (new) laptop didn’t completely kick the bucket, all should, and thankfully did, go well.

The day went on, blood was spilled over-the-board, on more than one occasion, and in keeping with the spirit of the event, rip-offs were had.

From Left: Niall Tuohy, Stephen Flinter, Marc Stoehr, Alex Delogu

Round two saw an upset victory on board 1, Marc Stoehr 1 Kyu from Sweden emerged victorious over the tournament favourite, Xinqun Lu 3 Dan. Although losing round 3, Marc remained top of the table by the end of the day and placed first for the first time in a tournament. There was a small amount of confusion with the listing of the places at the top as every single tie break between Marc and Xinqun was equal, therefore they ended up tied for first place. However after the tournament we realised that the Direct Confrontation (DC) setting was placed incorrectly, and as Marc had defeated Xinqun, after correction Marc took the official first place, with no tie, and Xinqun took second.

Congratulations to Marc for winning his first tournament!

Later we retired for drinks and dinner. I got my first game of the day in against Stephen Flinter after dinner.

Many thanks to all participants for joining the event, it’s great to see new and old faces come together. Next up we have the Galway tournament which is preliminarily set for June, details are pending. However the largest tournament on the island, the Confucius Cup, is set for September 22nd–24th in University College Dublin (UCD).

Looking forward to seeing you all again soon.

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