Go in Britain: 1971
The founder of British Go, John Barrs, died suddenly at his Wembley home on 31st January. John had learnt Go on 1929 and taught many to play. In 1953 he founded the London Go Club and the BGA. He represented Britain in Japan at the first international tournament and was the first English shodan. A fund was set up in his memory to pay for a Go Ban to be used as the Champion's trophy. Francis Roads replaced him as acting President.
The fourth British Go Congress was held in Leeds at the University's Devonshire Hall. The tournament was the first single group McMahon tournament. John Diamond and Tony Goddard tied for the National and Open titles. Diamond won the playoff a week later.
At the AGM Francis Roads (2 kyu) was elected President, newly promoted shodan Bob Hitchens Treasurer, and Derek Hunter Secretary. Membership was 568 and everyone was looking forward to the European to be held in Bristol in August.
In matches Bristol beat Cheltenham and Reading beat Oxford. Mike Cumpstey won the Bristol Go Stone Trophy. Miyashita (9 dan) visited London with his strong amateur daughter.
The fifteenth European Go Congress at Baldock Hall, Bristol University, was a great success. Forty-one players and the Lord Mayor of Bristol attended. Zoran Mutabzija of Yugoslavia won, with Hank de Vries and Max Rebattu of Holland second and third. Robert Rehm won the ni-dan section and the Dutch the team event. British players doing well were Tony Cooper, Jim Bates, Francis Roads and Geoff Briggs. John Allen won the Lightning event. Stuart Dowsey visited bringing a Go film made for the 1970 Expo.
The second Wessex Tournament, on 31st October, was attended by 52 players (twice previous). The Robnor Paints Trophy went to Rick Hubbell, an American 3 dan from Seattle but living in London. Second was 2 dan Andrew Daly from Reading, losing only to the winner by 1 point. Andrew also won the Reading Lightning Tournament and no doubt helped Reading win four games in an eight game match against Woodford. Bristol, however, managed to beat Cheltenham 7 boards to 3.