American Go E-Journal

Mind-Mapper Tony Buzan Takes a Turn at the Go Board

Monday January 27, 2014

Tony Buzan, the inventor of mind-mapping and author of numerous books on enhancing the power of the brain, has made his debut appearance at a go tournament at the age of 71. The man once named by Forbes Magazine alongside Henry Kissinger, Margaret Thatcher and Michail Gorbachev as one of the world’s top five international lecturers played in round one of the annual Maidenhead Go Tournament, held January 18 at Hitachi’s European Headquarters in Maidenhead, south-east England, after seeing publicity about the tourney in his local newspaper, the Maidenhead Advertiser.

He entered with a nominal grade of 10k, but it seems this may have been wishful thinking as opponent Colin Maclennan of Twickenham Go Club, with a thick grade of 10k, won by a large margin. Maclennan says, “In our game it soon became apparent that I was building a huge moyo that he allowed me to turn into territory.  He then invaded with little hope of life. In the end I won by over 100 points.”

It appears that Buzan has long wanted to find the time to learn to play go well, though it is hardly surprising, with his prodigious output and many speaking and other commitments, that he has not so far been able to put in the many hours required to master the game. British Go Association VP Tony Atkins says Buzan approached the Association some twenty years ago, enquiring about learning at the time when manytime British and European Champion Matthew Macfadyen 6d was actively teaching. He added, “I still have fond memories of a festival of the brain that [Buzan] organized at the Royal Albert Hall some years ago, which we were privileged to teach go at”. Atkins organizes the go competition in the Mind Sports Olympiad (see Taylor Wins Gold at London’s Mind Sports Olympiad, EJ 8/28/13), which Buzan co-founded.

However, the novice promised tournament organizer Iain Attwell that he will be attending some of Maidenhead Go Club‘s Friday evening meets in the future. If he does, he will be in good hands: the club and tournament, sponsored by Hitachi,  grew out of the Furze Platt School go club which Attwell founded some twenty-five years ago with fellow teacher France Ellul who had taught him to play, and the school produced every single Under-16 and Under-18 British Youth Champion for a number of years. Attwell described his guest as “a very nice gentleman”, and expressed hopes that Buzan will be as good as his word.

In a surprise finish, Toby Manning 2d of Leicester this year stole the tournament from British Championship Challenger Andrew Simons 4d of Cambridge in the third and final round. Click here for full results.

Report by Tony Collman, British correspondent for the E-Journal; photo courtesy of  Buzan’s mindmappingsoftware blog.

Share