35th Queensland State Go Championships
The 2015 Queensland State Go Championships was held at the University of Queensland’s campus at Saint Lucia, on the banks of the Brisbane River in Queensland, Australia. For the third year in a row, the UQ Business School generously donated a venue in the Joyce Ackroyd Building, and players from the Conondale Ranges to Ballina converged for a weekend of serious go.
Turnout was fair — the upper division was nine players from 2 dan to 7 dan playing open games (no handicap, random colours), the lower division was fourteen players ranging from 2k down to plucky Shannon Hu competing in her first tournament at 20k, playing handicapped games.
Both divisions played six rounds in a Swiss pairing, starting at ten o’clock on Saturday 7 February and finishing about four o’clock on Sunday.
As is now traditional, there was a mob of fourth dans bulking out the open division (with Markus Pache up from Ballina in New South Wales leading the pack) and strong performances from Kaile Su 6d of Brisbane and Kevin Jiang 7d.
Markus placed third in the open division and Kaile Su placed second after a grueling final-round slogfest against Markus. Kevin Jiang successfully defended his title as Queensland Champion after losing an interesting fourth round against newcomer Jacob Wu 3d; making a clean sweep of his five other games helped him pull just ahead of Kaile Su.
Other traditions: the Pache clan was out in force, with Markus’ elder son Yanis placing a respectable sixth in the open division, competing as a recently-promoted fourth dan, and younger son Ravi competing as a ninth kyu and placing eighth. This family have several previous championship wins behind them.
Queensland go elder Mark Bell pulled off a stunning upset victory in the sixth round against the seventh-dan-slaying Jacob Wu, which unfortunately was his only win for the tournament.
Unusually, the second division had more players in it than the open division — fourteen, headed by the mysterious Dominic Chan 2k and veteran Brisbane players Helmut Loiskandl 3k and Horatio Davis 2k. Chan powered to victory as 2015 Queensland Kyu Champion in a clean sweep of all six games, leaving a pack of four competitors each on four wins vying for second place, with Carlos Alperin 4k in front after the fifth round. A nail-biting game of cosmic go saw Carlos taken down by the eventual second-place-getter. A late surge by Justin Lee 8k did not quite get him past third placed Peter Hexel (Sum of Opponents’ Scores of 19.5 to Peter’s 20.5).
“I nominate Mark Bell for life membership of the Queensland Go Society. What has it been, nearly thirty years of service to Queensland go?”
The second annual general meeting of the Queensland Go Society smashed the previous record of 17 minutes during lunchtime on the second day. While the membership tucked into the table full of Subway sub rolls and cookies (this being the traditional fare at Brisbane tournaments) they also: heard the final report of Mark Bell before stepping down from the inaugural state General Secretary of the QGS, elected Horatio Davis 2k as Mark’s replacement, appointed Jason Mackay-Dwyer as the new overlord of the Brisbane Go Club chapter of the QGS, and bestowed a well-deserved life membership on Mark in recognition. Brief reports from both chapters, Brisbane and Gold Coast, showed all going well and likely to continue so.
The meeting also heard about more tournaments: the Australian Championships has rotated a year early to Queensland, and it’s either going to be at UQ St Lucia or USC Sippy Downs — opinion is divided; and the Gold Coast Classic is on again in October down in Helensvale; and there may be a northern New South Wales coastal tournament hosted by the Southern Cross University Club somewhere in May. More reports then. (:
Faces of Queensland Go
These portraits courtesy of Markus Pache and his camera throughout the tournament. The tyranny of distance means that tournaments are not just competitive occasions for Queensland players, but also one of the few times we are all together in the same room and can socialise.