John Gibson was one of the key figures in the Irish Go Association. Having learnt how to play the game pretty early on in life from Go and Go Moku he suffered from the same problem as many, a great difficulty in finding any fellow players. By 1990 he was a lynch pin of the Collegians and Go Chess club and the Irish Go Association. His ability as a tournament organiser was crucial for the game in Ireland. It was he who was tasked with running the Irish Open through thick and thin, in some years little more than 10 players would venture their hand. In 1995 he brought Ireland into the European Tour circuit, the Fujitsu Grand Prix as it was then. In 2001 he was also helping to run the European Go Congress in Dublin.
As a player he also had his achievements
- His best result was second place in the Irish Go Championship in 1994
- From 2001 to 2003 he took third place in the national championship
- In 1995 he represented Ireland at the World Amateur Go Championship
- He played in the European Team Championship for Ireland on several occasions
Chess and Tennis were also great hobbies of his. He won a few titles at Interprovincial level in Leinster, you can see more details at the ICU site or at Sean Coffey's IRLChess site. Sometimes his sparring partners in Chess were also those at Go - Bernard Palmer and Eamonn Keogh for instance. By profession he was an interior designer, the Pembroke Bar, which housed the Collegians club, actually being one of his works.
Although he enjoyed pushing his reputation as a rip off merchant over the board, he was a thoroughly respectable player. Always welcoming to new players at the Dublin Go Club whilst supping on one of several pints of Guinness through his ample grey beard. He died on March 14th 2022. I think he had reached the age of 73 years.