History of London Open

JFK Statue at ISH
JFK Statue at ISH
The London Open is the UK's biggest tournament. It is always held at the new year period: nowadays usually 28th - 31st December, but previously spanning the new year or in early January.

It first ran in January 1975 and has run every year since. Some years over 100 players take part - previously even up to 150 or more. Many come from continental Europe and further away too. Top European players take part.

It was first held at Imperial College, organised by Paul Prescott. After three years at the then London Go Centre, it was held at the Inter Varsity Club (IVC) at Covent Garden until 1988, apart from 1987 in the Kennilworth Hotel thanks to a sponsor (Hoskins). From 1989 to the millennium it was at Highbury Roundhouse, a community centre. It then moved to the International Student House (ISH), near Regents Park in central London, until 2017. From 2018 on, the event has moved to the new London Go Centre, first at Young Chelsea Bridge Club premesis and now at the London MindSports Centre.

Recent Events

2022 Report
2021 Report
2020 Cancelled
2019 Report
2018 Report
2017 Report
2017 Pair Go
2016 Report
2016 Pair Go
2015 Report
Players battle over 4 days in 7 rounds, with long time limits. The top player gets to hold the London Open Trophy, with cash prizes for the top players and prizes for other good results too. It has been part of various European Grand Prix circuits.
Prizes are also given for the Lightning Tournament, held one evening, and informal Rengo on the final afternoon. In 1990, 1991 and 1993 there was a separate one-day rapid-play tournament.
Winner 2011
Winner 2011

Earlier Events

2014 | 2013 | 2012 | 2011 | 2010 | 2009 | 2008 | 2007 | 2006 | 2005 | 2004
Another evening event is the London Pair Go. Around a dozen male-female pairs compete for the best pair title. For more details see the London Pair Go Page. Pair Go
Pair Go
There is usually a professional teacher, the most frequent ones being Guo Juan from the Netherlands and Catalin Taranu from Romania. They give lectures and analyse games. Other teachers have come from Japan, Korea and China. Guo Juan
Guo Juan
Main Hall
Main Hall
Most players played in the large hall at ISH. The evening events were held there too. ISH also had a bistro, a bar and reasonably priced accommodation. Top Room
Top Room
The top boards were in their own room. Adjacent to it was an analysis room. Prize-giving and the Rengo were upstairs.

Tournament Page with list of winners and links to result tables

Attendance figures from 1974/5:

  • 1970s: 97, 138, 107, 134, gt120, 124
  • 1980s: 150, 150, 130, 128, 142, 104, 112, 157, 148, 133
  • 1990s: 163, 121, 119, 114, 129, 140, 151, 146, 154, 99
  • 2000s: 103, 107, 100, 127, 134, 152, 150, 126, 132, 115
  • 2010s: 99, 119, 103, 109, 107, 76, 112, 94, 89, 87
Last updated Tue Feb 28 2023.
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