British Go Journal No. 65. July 1985. Page 16.

We regret greatly to have to announce the death of the BGA Treasurer, Jeff Ansell, who suffered a severe stroke during the Amsterdam Go Congress, in May.

Richard Granville, who knew Jeff well, writes:

Jeff was born in 1920, and grew up in London. At the age of eight he displayed an early interest in board games by taking up chess, at which he was later to become the London Boys Champion. During the war he served in the RAF as a Radar Mechanic, and while there he also learned to play bridge.

In 1954, upon transfer to the Foreign Office, he moved to Gloucestershire, where he lived until his death. Although he still played chess, he began to play bridge more regularly, and reached a respectable county standard.

It was in the late 60s that Jeff discovered Go, although at first he was not a regular player. From about 1975, however, it became Jeff's preferred game. I first met Jeff at the bridge table in the early 70s, and I know that we played against each other in a match in 1977. But this was before I had taken up Go, so I did not realise we were to share another interest.

In February 1979 I turned up at the Cheltenham Go Club. I played only one game - against Jeff. He was quite content to play a beginner. He gave me 9 stones, won by over 50 points, and discussed the game with me for a while afterwards.

Soon after this I started playing Go regularly at the club, but in addition, Jeff invited me to play Go with him at his house during many weekends in that year. It was partly due to Jeff's encouragement that I was able to improve to 3 kyu within 9 months.

Jeff himself never progressed much beyond 2-kyu. But that did not stop him from enjoying the game greatly. He was particularly keen to combine Go with a holiday, and played in the last four European Congresses.

When I took over the BGA presidency in 1983 one of my first tasks was to find a new Treasurer immediately. The Committee agreed with my recommendation that Jeff should be invited to take up the post, and I was delighted when Jeff accepted.

In fact, Jeff had virtually no experience of accountancy, and he admitted to me that he found the job difficult during his first year. However he was willing to seek the advice of others, and was able to produce a satisfactory set of accounts for the BGA.

In his second year as Treasurer he found the job easier, and I feel certain that his untimely death has robbed the BGA not only of a good friend, but of many years of service.

I am sure everyone who knew Jeff would like to join me and extend our sympathy to Jeff's widow, Myra, and daughter, Kate.


Fifty-nine people braved the bicycles at this years Trigantius tournament in Cambridge on March 16th.

The trophy for this tournament has had a stable home for the last three years on Terry Stacey's mantelpiece. But this time he was beaten in round three by Jim Barty, who thus claimed it as his own. Others with 3/3 were: B. Ellis, 1 kyu from Hemel Hempstead, A. Thornton, 3 kyu, from Reading; A. Jones, 15 kyu from Cambridge; and P Taillefer, 15 kyu, also from Cambridge.


In the absence of any of the big guns, this years Bracknell tournament was won by 2-dan John Clare. He avoided his only real threat, Francis Roads, since Francis contrived to lose to shodan Mark Cumper in the first round.

Attendance was down from 72 to 57, but there was still a healthy contingent of higher-kyu players.

Other players with three wins were: A Williamson, 5-kyu, unattached; A Martin, 6-kyu, from Central London; S Atwell, 7 kyu, from Bristol; K Koskuba, 12-kyu, unattached; and A Tripp, 17-kyu, Three Counties.


Yet again Terry Stacey has won the right to challenge Matthew Macfadyen for the British Championship. In this years Challengers he won all his games, although he had a narrow escape against former 10-times champion, John Diamond. John had come out of semi-retirement to get some practice for the forthcoming European Championships. In the eagerly-awaited clash it looked for a long time as if John would capture a large group of Terry's. However to Terry's own surprise it wriggled itself alive, destroying Jon's territory in the process.

The real surprise of the tournament was runner-up, 2-dan John Smith. who beat John Diamond and previous contender, Jim Barty on the way to winning 6/7 and second place.

The rest of the results went much as expected, although Tim Hazelden's score did not do justice to the number of winning positions he achieved.

A fuller report plus games from the Challengers will appear in the next issue.

Player Strength S B R D S T H S Total Position
Terry Stacey 5 dan x 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 7 1st
Jim Barty 4 dan 0 x 1 0 0 1 1 1 4 4th
John Rickard 3 dan 0 0 x 0 0 1 1 1 3 5th
John Diamond 6 dan 0 1 1 x 0 1 1 1 5 3rd
John Smith 2 dan 0 1 1 1 x 1 1 1 6 2nd
A Thompson 1 kyu 0 0 0 0 0 x 1 0 1 7th
Tim Hazelden 2 dan 0 0 0 0 0 0 x 0 0 8th
Neil Symes 1 dan 0 0 0 0 0 1 1 x 2 6th


The grading committee has emerged from another secret session to announce the following promotions:

Brian Ellis breaks through to shodan, while Neil Symes gets the long-standing service medal of 2-dan. John Smith, arch-exponent of what one compatriot enviously described as the "rather squirmy Manchester School", gets promoted to the no-man's land of 3-dan, as does Quentin Mills, scourge of the Dutch 5-dans.

World Amateur Championships

Jim Bates, 4-dan, finished 12th in this years world amateur championships, held in Tokyo, in May. Jim, who was selected because Terry Stacey was unavailable, scored 4/7.

The tournament was won, once again, by China, in the person of Jian Hong Wang, described as a 6-dan (the Chinese make no distinction between amateur and professional grades).

Second was Ka Wul Chan from Hong Kong, who had played In a previous championship for China, before emigrating. He lost to his former compatriot in round 3 by 1.5 points

The Japanese representative, Yazuro Kikuchi (7-dan) was third, with 5/7. The highest Western players were the American, Charles Him, who came fifth, and Frances Andr Moussa, sixth, both scoring 5/7. Moussa's result compares with that of Matthew Macfadyen who also scored 5/7 last year.

Jim Bates was in the group of players to finish on 4/7, including the Korean, Chul Jung Kim, and Germany's David Schoffel.

A full report plus games will appear in the next issue.

Not the East Anglia

The organisers of the Ipswich/East Anglia tournament took fright when, with a week to go, they had only received seven entries, and decided to call it off. (There are some organisers who would regard seven people registering in advance as an unexpectedly large numbers). Francis Roads thereupon bravely repeated his last-minute Not-the-Oxford feat and organised a 3-round MacMahon at London's Inter-Varsity Club on Sunday June 7th.

He was rewarded with less favour, this time, only 26 turning up, but it was quite a successful little tournament nonetheless. He was ably assisted by Dave Strowlger who actually ran the tournament as Francis struggled to halt his slide back to shodan.

Winner when the dust had cleared was Piers Shepperson, with 3/3, who survived doubtful positions against your editor and Francis to beat Jim Barty in the final round.

Thames Valley League

The relatively large number of clubs in and around around Berkshire has led to the formation of a Thames Valley Go League. It is being run on similar lines to the Northern League, but with several teams from each club allowed to take part. Matches are played in the evenings as well as weekends.

So far the Reading Royals have beaten the Bracknell Romans 3-1, and the Reading Rebels have beaten the Three Counties A team 3-1.

Future matches will involve the above three clubs plus Furze Platt.

Any other teams wanting to take part should contact Tony Atkins (address on inside cover).

Shogi magazine

The British Shogi Federation has brought out a free quarterly journal for its members, called Shoten. It is designed to meet the need for a specifically British journal, since the existing English language magazine readers may have seen is an international publication.

Shogi remains a very minority interest as yet in Britain. But a number of Go players have been attracted to the game, which shares some of the terminology and Oriental appeal of Go.

The recently formed Federation is now the official ruling body for the game in Britain. It organises tournaments, including the British Championship, maintains grades (they have kyu and dan grades like Go), and generally promotes the game.

News from Japan

Cho Chikun has retained his Kisei title, beating Takemiya 4-3 after being 3-2 down. Kobayashi Koichi regained the Judan title, beating Otake 3-0. The Honinbo title match has just started, Takemiya leads the title holder, Rin, 2-1. The Meijin League is half way through, Kato is leading, with Otake and Kobayashi Koichi one point behind.

Any impression that the titles all get shared by the same few players is entirely well founded - the players mentioned in this paragraph consistently win about eight games out of ten against the average 9 dan. Europe may have grading problems but the Japanese professional grades are a shambles.

Kyu Diplomas

Club secretaries are reminded that the BGA operates an awards system for kyu players. Coloured diplomas are available to give to your members who have reached the strength of 25, 20, 15, 12, 6, and 3 kyu.

The diplomas, which are particularly suited to encouraging young players, can be awarded by club secretaries themselves, though the brown (3-kyu) diploma has to be sanctioned by a dan player. The criteria for the awards are on the back of each diploma.

Likewise, don't forget that the BGA now has starter packs, containing a facts about Go leaflet, a list of clubs, a copy of the journal, and a small paper board with tiddly-wink stones for beginners to get playing.

These are normally sent out free of charge by Membership Secretary, Mike Harvey, to people enquiring about the game. However they could be useful for any special promotions your own club is staging.


This article is from the British Go Journal Issue 65
which is one of a series of back issues now available on the web.

Last updated Sun Aug 19 2018.
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