The British Go Association (BGA) exists to promote and support the playing of the oriental board game Go in the United Kingdom.
The BGA has existed for about 50 years. There are clubs in most big towns and cities, about 50 tournaments a year, a British Championship, Youth, teaching and other events.
The BGA plays an active part in the European Go Federation (EGF), taking its turn to be the host to the annual European Go Congress and other events. It is also a member of the International Go Federation (IGF).
The BGA has around 500 members, and there are many more who play regularly but are not currently members. However, we do have pictures of some of them, including those who attend tournaments most, or are on the BGA Council and Committees.
We welcome anybody who loves the game of Go, is interested in the game or wants to support the idea of promoting Go playing, to join the BGA and so join a group of enthusiastic Go players and benefit from being part of a keen and dedicated organisation.
There are Go clubs meeting in all parts of the country regularly or irregularly. Most, of course, welcome new players and visitors, but check that a meeting is actually going ahead before attending. We have a current list of BGA clubs and a map showing their location.
Go clubs find having their own web page is very useful at attracting new players and visitors. We offer free web space to BGA affiliated Go clubs, if they cannot host a page themselves. Club sites contain meeting information and directions, a flavour of the club, plus any special activities being run.
The BGA publishes the British Go Journal (normally four times per year), provides a news feed and distributes an electronic Newsletter.
The BGA also has a selection of promotional material for use by Go clubs and at publicity events.
Of course, we also publish a website that you're reading!
Details of all our publications are available on the Publications page.
The BGA provides three email discussion lists: one for general discussion, one for debate about how the BGA is run, and one for organisers of youth Go. Here is how to join.
Each year generous sponsors normally provide air tickets to allow British Go players to compete in the World Amateur Go Championship, the KPMC International Amateur Baduk Championships, and some years to the International Amateur Pair Go Championships, as representatives of the UK. In October 2008 a team of players attended the first World Mind Sports Games in Beijing.
There is also often representation in European tournaments, such as the European Students, European Pair Go and the Toyota-Denso Oza.
If representatives were chosen purely on the basis of strength, few players would benefit. They are therefore normally awarded on the basis of accumulated points.
We are also playing in the Pandanet European Teams Championship.
We run stalls at a number of exhibitions and events around the country and are also actively promoting Go to schools and young players. Our Junior pages show some of these activities and our School Teachers pages provide guidance to this group.
A variety of promotional material is available (mostly free) to clubs and members to help them promote Go in their area.
Discounts are available on books and equipment to our members. See Books and Equipments for more details.
Go playing and recording software is freely available from the BGA Software Catalogue. There is an analysis service, help with putting on tournaments, and other services to members and clubs.
We monitor the European Go Ratings and recognise players with dan grades by issuing certificates when they reach a certain standard. The BGA rating list shows the rating and grade equivalent of active tournament players.
The BGA organises an annual British Go Championship. The champion is the winner of a match between the top two players in the Challengers' League. Players qualify for the League by playing in the Candidates' Tournament which is open to all active tournament players above about 1 kyu in strength.
Around 50 Go tournaments are held regularly in Britain each year. The BGA helps with the organisation of these, and lends a draw computer, Go sets and clocks to them.
Each Go tournaments has a slightly different culture; most have side tournaments and some have quizzes and other competitions. Between rounds at tournaments, especially the longer or residential ones, unofficial activities sometimes take place.
If you plan to take children to a Go tournament, you should read the BGA policy on working with children and young people. Most events are suitable for older children, but you should check suitability for the very young.
Those interested in running their own tournament should check out the Tournament Organisers’ Handbook.
Finally, for those who can't get to tournaments we also run a number of Online Leagues, in which any BGA member is entitled to play.