The first British Schools Championship was held at Kingsthorpe Upper School in Northampton. Best of the 12 teams was Leeds Grammar School. Top youth player Quentin Mills, 1 kyu, was not there as he was still starting a school club. At the British in Birmingham he gave the Trigantius winner Terry Stacey a hard time losing to him in the last round by only 4 points. Terry also won the first British Small Board Championships.
In March 1980 the second World Amateur was held in Tokyo. Best European was 19 year old Ronald Schlemper of the Netherlands who reached the quarter finals. Britain's Macfadyen lost to China in round 2.
The traditional two tier system of choosing the Challenger for the British Championship, based on the Honinbo system, was replaced in 1980 by a single 8-round tournament. It was held at the IVC on four days around the late May holiday. 20 players took part, the winner being Terry Stacey with a clean 8; Frank May was second having lost just one. Terry went on to lose the title Match to Matthew Macfadyen 3-1, giving Matthew a third year as champion.
Matthew also won the European Championship in Mali Losinj, Yugoslavia, to bring the title to Britain for the first time. He won the play-off against Jurgen Mattern by resignation. Plaudits must go to the EGF executive and other players who stepped in to help run the event when they discovered the organiser was quite literally at sea.
Adam Pirani won Bracknell, Jim Barty Leicester, Francis Roads at Ipswich and Matthew Macfadyen both the British Lightning at Wanstead and the Northern.
British Go Week was held at the end of October. Much media coverage was gained on local television, radio and press, and the Daily Express children's page. Various open days and demonstrations were held. Matthew Macfadyen's Go Week as featured a win at the Wessex.