American Go E-Journal

Flying Finn wins London Open

Monday January 17, 2011

Antti Tormanen 6d (l) of Finland bested favorite Wang Wei 6d in the London Open at the end of December. Wang, who had just moved from Cork to London, but is originally from China, was favored for the Open – held December 28-31 — after being the previous year’s runner up, and indeed, after four rounds only he and Tormanen were unbeaten at the top. But when the two players faced off in round 5, the Fin won after an epic battle, and then won his last two games to complete his sweep and take first place. Wei Wang also won the rest of his games to end on six wins and take second place. CLICK HERE for the full results.

Man triumphed decisively in the Man-Machine Challenge, sponsored by the British Go Association and held in parallel with the London Open. John Tromp 2d won 4-0 and went away $1000 richer courtesy of Darren Cook, who was using Many Faces of Go on his laptop. Tromp, who felt the result didn’t reflect the closeness of the games, said that he wasn’t going to repeat his bet, as he expected to lose in a couple of years if the computer continues improving at the current rate.

The 2010 London Open was again sponsored by Pandanet and Winton Capital Management, but attendance was down slightly, no doubt due to the extremely cold weather and snow-related travel difficulties that immediately preceded Christmas. Luckily this had disappeared by the time the London Open started and 99 players turned up to play in this by now traditional 4-day event, which finishes up on New Year’s Eve.

Tormanen, who hails from Oulu in Finland, also won at least one blitz game against Guo Juan 5P at the New Year’s Eve party, during a series of games that was a serious treat to watch and listen to for those attending. Guo, from Amsterdam, was again resident professional, providing game commentaries and lectures throughout the tournament. Although she didn’t play in the Open, she played in the Pair Go Tournament and won, partnered by Ian Davis from Belfast. She also kindly provided a €100 sponsorship for this year’s London Open on her audio site; certificates are given to five young deserving players, each worth 20 audio lectures.

The Lightning was won by Jukka Jylanki 9k from Finland, who beat Andrew Kay 4d from the UK) in the final. The final event was a casual Rengo event after the tournament proper had been closed, and before the New Year’s party, which was won by Frenchmen Arnaud Knippel and Michael White, who attributed their success to brand new hats worn throughout. Geoff Kaniuk and Jenny Radcliffe were the tournament’s main organizers, supported by chief referee Nick Wedd, Tony Atkins and many others. This was Kaniuk’s last year as London Open Tournament Director, after many years of extraordinarily dedicated service and hard work.
- excerpted from Jon Diamond’s report on the British Go Association’s website, which includes all top-board game records and photo galleries of both the main and Pair Go tournaments

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