In memory of John Gibson

I discovered Go around 2000, looking for an interesting AI project at the time, people pointed to the “impossible game for computers to play”. I lived in Dublin and sure enough there was a Go club, at a pub of course.

That’s where I met John. He greeted me and with a pint of Guiness we played our first game on a 9x9 board. It was the first of many games we played together. He was always available for a game with the noobs and was an amazing teacher. Funny, patient, pleasant (I still remember the smell of his pipe tobacco), I often looked forward to loosing for the review afterwards.

When I left Ireland and went back to Greece, I started the first Greek Go club in Athens. Following my teacher, I made a deal with a pub to host the club. John helped me with the EGF, organising everything. In our first two years we had two pros from Japan who came over to teach us. John was always there, helping, teaching playing us online.

I stoped playing when I had twins and moved to Norway, that was 15 years ago. Came back to the game recently and went on to dragon go server to see if I could find John. I was so sad to find out he had passed away last year. I can’t imagine how his family, friends and the Irish Go community must have felt. I am so sorry for your loss, I miss John dearly.

Yiorgis Gozadinos


I will always remember John very fondly. First games I ever played in my life, back in 2007:

I played only once against him when I returned to the game many years later and I still remember that he killed my bottom left corner somehow as he was going through moves in that teaching game and I was like “that was soooo cool! I want to learn how to do that!”

May he always be remembered by his friends and family.


John was such an essential part of the game in Ireland, with his pipe smoking literally contributing to the warm atmosphere. There are just a few old Collegians players left now. Would that there were more. He is profoundly missed.