British Go Journal No. 65. July 1985. Page 20.

From Brian Timmins

The second article to appear in the journal on the shortcomings of male Go players prompts me to reply to the criticism that both women proffer: namely that the Go-man is a boring monomaniac.

Pooling our many other interests, the men at our club could discuss anything from Buxtehude to Bonaventure des Périers in a pub or at a party. But at a Go tournament one topic is all important, I want to lament the tenuki that lost a war, and play fair by listening to other Go-mens campaigns.

Go is a form of escapism as defensible as reading fiction. It takes one away from the sordid absurdities of simultaneous food mountains and famine.

Deference to other topics and to small-talk should not be sought at a tournament. For one precious weekend we want to maintain a fiction. To drag in other topics is as considerate as asking someone how they feel about the Common Market when theyre in the middle of a good novel.

Men generally keep to this tacit view that go can peak into all-importance. Why not women? Soames Forsyte nutshelled it when he advised a younger man (too late to be of avail to himself) that "Women like to be talked to." Herein lies male superiority: sorry girls, we can answer that need, but dont share it.

To be fair, Ill point out before you do, that my wife plays Go. However at a tournament or on the way home from the local Go club there is only one imaginable topic of conversation.

From Jay Rastall

I travelled from Kent to play in the recent Bracknell Tournament. I arrived in good time, since, having not entered in advance, I was to be counted as a late entrant, with (according to advance publicity) either the possibility of a bye or a £1.50 surcharge. Eventually registration started. I wasnt the first to spot this, so there were other late entrants ahead of me on the list. Then it was explained that lunch might not be available for late entrants, so I wasn't given a ticket.

Having duly paid the entry fee and surcharge (no refund for no lunch). I played the first round and won. My reward - a lunch ticket - which nobody in the canteen wanted to see! After lunch I duly played round 2, reported my result, and even did byo-yomi for a neighbouring table. By now the gap between rounds had stretched to over an hour, only mitigated by the F.A. Cup Final on the TV In the bar.

Finally the draw for the 3rd round was announced, but my name was missing. Subsequent investigation showed that as 3rd and last late entrant, it was my turn for a bye. Fighting back my disappointment, I remembered the advance publicity - bye OR surcharge. I sought the organiser, claimed my £1.50 and left, disgruntled.

I dont think Ill bother next year.


As mentioned in a recent GW, 5000 Go sets are sold in Britain each year. Ignoring the theory that this is the work of someone with a peculiar fetish, we have been trying to trace this lost tribe of Go players.

This is the result of our investigations:

  • Steve Davis - thought to be a good Kyu player
  • Cyclops - became extinct due to tendency to form only one eye.
  • Rengo Starr - used to play Go in a group.
  • Ko Stark - keeps taking them off.
  • Captain Kirk - known for boldly Go-ing.
  • Desperate Dan - used to bite off too much, but still managed to eat it.

Harry Kiri


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

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