Romanian History

Posté par northlecale le 9 novembre 2015

The reason I started this blog was to record the history of Irish Go. However here we have something a little different, a brief diversion to Romania in 1989. In other words, I have begun a translation of the work of Radu Baciu’s work Go In Competition. I suppose that this is a manual which would normally be left by the wayside as having little to no significant value in terms of instruction. Nevertheless it is historically a very important piece in the development of Go in Romania, and I at least find it quite an interesting piece of work in terms of thinking about the game. You can find the initial Version 1 here at  https://github.com/Lecale/GoInCompetition. It contains 7 contemporary games, an introduction and a glossary.

Publié dans Baduk, Go, gossip, RaduBaciu, Weiqi | Pas de Commentaire »

Obituary – Bernard Palmer

Posté par northlecale le 9 août 2015

Whilst on holiday with my family I learnt of the sad death of Bernard Palmer. To most people in Ireland he was probably better known as a Chess player. These days you can look through his game history with websites like 365chess.com or whatever, to get a feel of the length and breadth of his career, but that gives you little indication of what type of man he really was. At the Chess board, or even just debating about Chess Politics, he could exhibit a fell temper sometimes backed up by even worse threats. One can suppose that this relatively bad behaviour originated out of the very character of the game itself, for when playing Go, nothing of the sort could be seen. Most people remarked that he was a completely different and affable character.  I’m sure that those who have played Go in Ireland prior to 2008 will remember his larger than life figure, many might also remember Bernard for his role as a guide around the bars of Dublin. My first meeting with Bernard was inside the half light of the Pembroke Inn, when I noticed a large man drinking what was probably Carlsberg lager at the bar.  Over the years to come I remember seeing him playing Go there, and not seeing him playing Go there, several more times in the same circumstances. He seemed to have something of a natural gift for the game, for without displaying most of the skills normally associated with the calculating chess player, his positional instinct was powerful. Bernard was the challenger in the 1992 / 3 final against Noel Mitchell – you can see one of his games here. I believe it illustrates the fact that Bernard simply wasn’t up to the same level as Noel in the technical details associated with close quarter fighting. It also illustrates the perhaps forgotten fact that Bernard was one of the early powerhouses of Irish Go. He never progressed significantly beyond his level of 3-kyu he attained in 1992, which at the time made him one of the strongest players in the country, and the strongest player at Collegians. He was persistent though, playing in many further Top 8 competitions, and he ended up travelling to Japan twice to represent Ireland – once for the International Amateur Pair Go Championship, and once for the World Amateur Go Championship. The latter he was interviewed for by Peter Mioch. He was actually just 57 years old when he died, and with his passing we lose something of the history of Collegians Chess and Go Club.

Publié dans Baduk, Go, Weiqi | Pas de Commentaire »

The year of unfinished business

Posté par northlecale le 2 mai 2015

We all know that feeling. Suddenly you notice that your eyes are sore, the primal energy seems to have gone from your body, tiredness is the only thing left, and you realise that, despite all your best intentions, you just didn’t get a thing done today. Somehow, 2014 seemed to go that way for the Irish Go Championship. It is not for me to guess as to why it happened, but it just never seemed to finish. To begin with, only 6 players actually turned up for the Top 8 that year. It was something along the lines of that one slept in, while the other just forgot about it. So, what with a quarter of the games out of the way, you’d imagine that it might motor along to a quick completion. Far from it! It is true the championship league was, whilst not strictly speaking finished within the period the rules allowed, completed well before Christmas. The 3-game final just simply didn’t appear. There was one game that was played, but months passed, 2014 turned to 2015, and as I sit writing here, despite promises to get around to playing it, we are into May 2015, and it just hasn’t happened. Both players are, strangely enough, still playing in the 2015 championship, which is still in progress, and nearly running to schedule. So we have to imagine that the final will eventually be played, it is just a case of when. For now, the record is a year of 17 months – how long will that run on for?

Postscript – the committee adjudicated the result on the 31st of May. (spoilsports)

Publié dans gossip | Pas de Commentaire »

A personal history of Irish Go

Posté par northlecale le 13 avril 2014

I began putting this collection of Irish Go History together in April 2014. Over the years, I’ve had a few projects concerning Go, this is the second one of a real historical nature. The first was actually an Irish Game Archive, which started out on notepad because most of the internet was firewalled in work. The others will be touched on within these pages. This site aims to cover a few topics:

  • The Irish Championships, because everyone loves tables.
  • Player Profiles, to add some background information about the names who will appear here.
  • Special Events, well this is really only about the European Go Congress in Dublin 2001.
  • Ancient History, or rather the history of Go in Ireland before I started playing.
  • Personal History, my own recollections of Go in Ireland, together with what else occurred at the events I missed out on.
  • You may also find the links page to be of interest.

There are clearly other things which deserve coverage. Since I do not have unlimited free time, and I do not intend to spend all of that which I have on this project, those things which are of less interest to me have been cruelly cast aside. I suppose that you may wonder why I decided to write all this. It is true that I have always envied the Irish Chess Archive which was constructed by Mark Orr. Although that was one clear factor, there where several other motivational factors behind my decision, most of which concerned events which happened in a short sequence of time. I apologize for the morbid nature of this, but quite genuinely, the first was learning of the death of several players I had known. It is quite natural that the receipt of such news will cause one to think back, to remember again the past. One consequence of this was that I realised that now only a few of those who had taught me this game were still alive. The Tournoi de Frioul also provided a push, for there I had met by chance a man who wanted to record an interview with myself, and others, about the history of the game in each of our respective countries. That caused me to think what had I to say on the subject of Go in Ireland? Nothing coherent or impressive was most probably the correct answer. The final reason was that there is always this slight sorrow I have in losing track of the resources we used to have on Geocities, along with the aforementioned collection of games I used to maintain.

Credits: The following all responded to pleas for help, even if if they responded with nothing much of use :)

Guo Juan, Lucretiu Calota, Charles Matthews, Chris Meyer, Noel Mitchell, John Kenny, John Gibson, Michael Reiss, and lastly GoSWF

Status Notes: The first draft, which was very much a draft, was completed on August 3rd 2014. After a vacation in Bordeaux, on the 24th of August the changes from second draft began to be added. On September 17th 2014, occasional updates started again. After a special event in October 2014 a complete hiatus took place until May 2015.

Publié dans Baduk, Go, Weiqi | Pas de Commentaire »

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