Yes, it has been a very long silence here at the BCM Blog, hasn't it? My last piece was on Bobby Fischer's death so perhaps I've been in mourning for the late, great world champion. But if so, it wasn't a conscious thing.
The reason I break the silence is to talk about the Isle of Man tournament. Is there going to be a 2008 Isle of Man tournament? As long-time tournament webmaster, it is a bit embarrassing to have to answer that with the words "I don't know". At the last tournament we had a meeting to discuss the 2008 event and various semi-official announcements were made via the website, talking in terms of a 2008 Manx International, but I haven't heard a thing since.
The prognosis is not good. Monarch Assurance's generous sponsorship ended with the 2007 event so it was already known that new sponsorship would need to be found. Since then, there has come further news that the venue, the Ocean Castle Hotel, closed for business on 31 December 2007 (and it is likely to be scheduled for demolition). At that point, hotel manager Jean-Pierre Depin - who is also tournament director - retired to Ramsey. I understand that all other possible venues in Port Erin are booked for the requisite time so the tournament would have to move town as well as find new money.
Various things appear on the web about a 2008 tournament but they look a bit sketchy and out of date. Does anyone out there know what's happening? If you do, please me know...