BGA Newsletter 265 April 2020


Contributions are always welcome, both from our members and others. We ask that they be Go-related and “newsy". The place for debate and general discussion is the BGA open mailing list Gotalk#. However, an introduction to a new topic is fine in the Newsletter.  A brief introduction to Gotalk, with a link for joining, is on the BGA page Go on the Internet. See also the BGA temporary Coronavirus page.

While the UK is in lock-down many people are exploring ways of getting together on-line, for games, tournaments, and video conversations. A few stories came in time for this month’s Newsletter, but new ideas and discussions are appearing almost daily on Gotalk. This is the place to find out the latest, and maybe join the discussions.

The favoured combo for on-line meetings seems to be Zoom for video-conversations together with OGS for the actual games. In Harry Fearnley’s article on Virtual Meetings of the Oxford City Club, the link ’”notes for members” includes advice for getting started.

Looking ahead to the next Newsletter, please send me your stories of “Go under Lock-down”. We all of us can benefit from learning about things that worked well, and maybe having a good laugh at things that did not.

Instructions for Contributors:  Please use plain text not file-attachments. Keep it fairly brief, and give web-links and contact details. It's good to include pictures. If they are on the internet, send me the URL, otherwise attach the picture files to your email. Send your contribution to to arrive by the first day of the month.

# not to be confused with many other “GoTalk” sites that a Google search will find.

Jil Segerman


The full set of recent news items, including further details of some of the items shown here, are on our News Pages, and on News Headlines.

Pandanet Go European Team Championship

The next match, played on Pandanet, is on 7th April at 20:00 when we have another difficult tie: against Italy, who are currently second. Spectators welcome. See here for more details.

European Youth Go Championships

The EYGC (European Youth Go Championship) is a youth competition, played face-to-face, in a different country each year. It is very well supported, with players from most European countries. The atmosphere is always great, many friends are made, new cultures experienced, European players' grades cross-calibrated, and naturally youngsters improve at Go.

The 2020 edition took place from 11-14 March, in Stubičke Toplice in Croatia. 162 youngsters from 14 countries competed.

Of the 72 games played by our UK team, we had 38 wins (53%), 31 losses and 3 byes. Very pleasing overall for the UK, and one of the best UK performances at an EYGC, where there are always several very strong teams. Apart from the top players in the groups, there were five youngsters who won 5 out of 6 games. The UK were honoured to have three of these five winners: Andrew Volovich (U12 section), Julia Volovich (U16) and Lizzy Pollitt (U20).

See Martin Harvey's detailed report here, also the EYGC menu of picture pages and most amusing video, showing things that happened during the event and its excursions.

The 'Skye Stir Fry'

At the recent Skye Go Tournament a few people discussed the idea of a computerised tournament, and have set up one on OGS called 'Skye Stir Fry'. Thanks, John Macdonald.

[Editor's note] I don't know if it will still be running by the time you receive this Newsletter, but you are welcome to check it out if you're interested.

Virtual Meetings -- Oxford City Go Club experience, so far

A report from Harry Fearnley.

For its regular Tuesday night meetings, Oxford City has held two meetings online using OGS to play Go (Free), and -- parallel -- Zoom for video-conferencing (Free #) support. We did this in our own club room on OGS, and will hold an additional meeting there on Saturday morning (4th April), hoping to reach some of our players now in China. Some of us were new to the OGS server, so needed some time to familiarize themselves with its capabilities -- particularly the review process. We recommended that newbies start by playing a couple of unranked 9x9 games, just to get used to things, before playing for real.

We did most of our interacting via Zoom. This worked well for less than 10 people, but we would probably need to use Zoom's "breakout rooms" (if at no extra cost, and if it does not adversely affect possible 1:1 participant support by the host) if we had more people. Zoom's share screen was great -- one of us downloaded the SGF of a game that they had just played; used KataGo (via Lizzie) on their PC to analyse the game; shared their PC's screen with the rest of us, so allowing us to have a more fruitful discussion.

# Normally, Zoom expects you to pay for meetings of more than 2 people, which last more than 40 minutes. To avoid paying, participants have to re-connect at 40 minute intervals! However, Zoom give you one freebie long meeting per host, which was great for us. We will almost certainly get a Zoom account costing £11.99/month, so permitting seamless connections.

We made some notes for our members where we link to the relevant info. [Editor's note] Included is a "Help with Virtual Meetings?" section, with advice both for organisers and participants.

A Virtual Meeting -- Arundel Go Club

Editor's Report

Sue Paterson set up a similar system for the Arundel club. In our first virtual meeting, some half a dozen people used both Zoom and OGS, and a few others joined us on OGS but not on Zoom. Sue had already purchased a Zoom licence for some of her other activities, so we had the luxury of un-interrupted talk. With Zoom and OGS both running, the experience is almost as good as being in the same room.



BGA Council have set up this temporary page to advise members of actions and ideas for playing Go while the country is experiencing the Coronavirus outbreak.

Annual General Meeting of the British Go Association 2020

The BGA AGM is postponed. The constitution requires us to hold it during the first half of the year, and requires at least 20 people (the quorum) to be present, so it is not practicable to hold it in current circumstances. This page gives some of the documents for the meeting: at time of writing this is the President's Report, the Treasurer's Report (including the audited accounts) and the Membership Secretary's Report, all of which cover the calendar year 2019, but further documents will be added over the next few days.

New Council Member

Colin Williams has been co-opted to serve as a member of the BGA Council.

Colin first saw the game of Go at school, when two sixth-formers were playing a strange game that involved a home made board and over 300 blue and white toothpaste tube tops (goodness knows how long it took them to collect them). Then Clive Fraser joined the teaching staff and set up a Go club, from when he was hooked.

There was a playing gap while at University, but a few years later when in Farnham he met Richard Granville – and it started again. Several years followed playing at the West Surrey Club, and co-organising the annual West Surrey Handicap Tournament with Steve Bailey, during which he rose to the dizzy heights of 2kyu.

Then, as for many, family duties and work intervened, and there was a 25+ year Go drought. Having retired in 2018 he joined the Bristol Club and has re-found a passion for the game. With some time on his hands now is the opportunity for him to give back to the game through the auspices of the BGA. His ambition – probably hopeless – is to advance from his current 5/6 kyu up to shodan.

BGA Journal

We are still seeking a volunteer to take over as Editor of the Journal.

BGA On-line League

The BGA Online League will be restarting sometime in May; more details to come in the near future. Teams of three or more players are requested to contact Oliver Bustos Langton at with names and ranks ASAP. Individual players interested in joining up are also requested to send their details in - we will endeavour to create teams out of such players.

Analogue Clocks for Sale

Now that the BGA has purchased a number of digital clocks, which have been proved in practice, we have a number of analogue clocks which are surplus to requirements. We are therefore selling them off, at:
- £5 for one
- £8 for two
- £10 for three
all prices to include p. and p.
If you are interested, please contact Toby Manning at


CORONAVIRUS: Cancellations include the British Go Congress and AGM (postponed), all over-the-board events for April, and some of those in May. Most European tournaments scheduled for April and May have been cancelled, as also have the World Amateur (scheduled for Vladivostok) and the World Women's Amateur (scheduled for Tokyo). Check the Events Calendar. nearer the time for status of later events.

Events not cancelled at time of going to press include:
Kyu Players Weekend, London
Bar-Low, London
Not the London Open
Pair Go, Hatfield Durham
Welsh Open, Barmouth
Scottish Open, Dundee
Mind Sports Olympiad, London
Youth Training Residential near Grantham, Lincolnshire
T Mark Hall Rapid Play, London
European Women's Championship, London
October, Wessex, Three Peaks
November, Doki Doki Festival (Manchester), British Youth Go Championship
December, London Open

The European Go Federation's Tournament Calendar includes the Major European Tournaments and a World Tournament Calendar.

Last updated Sat Apr 25 2020.
If you have any comments, please email the webmaster on web-master AT britgo DOT org.