History of Go Sponsorship in Britain

We apologise in advance to any sponsors who have been omitted from this history.

In its earliest days the BGA had much support from Japan Airlines (JAL) who helped produce a Go introductory leaflet that helped promote Go in the UK for many years. In 1974 they sponsored the British Championship title match and in 1978/9 several international telephone and telex matches.

Hoskyns, now part of Cap Gemini, sponsored a telephone match against the USA at their London premises on 4th July 1978. We lost 1:2.

Various regional tournaments have had their own sponsors, sometimes leading to a one off event prompted by the sponsors' support. One of these was the Bank of China tournament in 1996. ICL Office Systems sponsored the British Go Congress in Reading in 1987. Swindon's first event was sponsored by National Power and the British Go Congress in Chester in 1998 was sponsored by British Aerospace. There has been a handicap tournament sponsored by Black Bull, makers of Perry, and which was latter sponsored by RTP (Rex, Thompson & Partners).

The Scottish Open in Dundee was sponsored for several years by Real Time Worlds. In 2011 they were replaced by Denki, another local computer company. The Epsom Tournament was sponsored several times by Forbidden Technologies. At Oxford they are sponsored by their local games shop Hoyles who also run book stand at the tournament.

Youth events have been sponsored by Equity and Law and by LG. The Pair Go Championship had received support from the Japan Pair Go Association.

A long term relationship exists with Hitachi, both in Cambridge and in Maidenhead. At Maidenhead they have sponsored the event at their headquarters since 1994. They were our major sponsor at the European Go Congress in Canterbury in 1992 and sponsored the London Open for six years.

When the British team went to the 2008 World Mind Sports Games in Beijing, they were sponsored by Winton Capital Management. The relationship with Winton continued for two years afterwards, with three years sponsorship of the London Open, support of the 2009 UK Go Challenge, and support of other BGA activities.

Asahi Shimbun sponsored a tournament alongside the Meijin match in London in 1989 and continued to support British Go for a few years with three years' support of the London Open and part sponsorship of the 1992 European Go Congress.

Since the AlphaGo match in 2016, we have been receiving support from DeepMind. In 2017 this is specifically aimed at promoting youth Go.

London Open

The London Open had always been a top European event and therefore part of the various European Cup Grand Prix systems that have run over the years. Hence it has received support from the sponsors of those: Fujitsu, Toyota and Pandanet.

Direct sponsors of the London Open have been:


Games Workshop


Hoskyns Group (now Cap Gemini)


Asahi Shimbun


Ing Foundation




Winton Capital Management



In summary a few British companies in the high-tech industries have supported Go from time to time, although the majority of sponsors have been Oriental companies. In addition we are of course very thankful for all support we have received, not only from sponsors, but also all the companies, universities, schools, churches and hotels who have allowed Go events to take place on their premises at no or reduced charge, and all those who have supported events with prizes, assistance or other support. These are too numerous to name here.

Last updated Sat Apr 22 2017. If you have any comments, please email the webmaster on web-master AT britgo DOT org.