BGA Newsletter 274 January 2021


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.

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.

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.

Purchase of London MindSports Centre

Update from BGA president Toby Manning: On 15th December 2020 the ex-Salvation Army citadel in Ravenscourt Park was purchased for £1.7M, to turn it into the London MindSports Centre.

The purchase was made by a company set up for the specific purpose of purchasing and owning the building: MindSports Property Limited (MPL). Toby is a Director of this company. The T Mark Hall Foundation is investing £300,000 in MPL. The London Go Centre is investing £100,000 in MPL after having received a donation of £100,000 from TMHF. The remaining investment is from Bridge players associated with the Young Chelsea Bridge Club (YCBC). We are in discussions with the Chess community to see if they also wish to invest.

YCBC's premises in Goldhawk Road (the location of the last two London Open Go Congresses) will close, and both YCBC and the London Go Centre will move to the London MindSports Centre.

We have a certain amount of work to do to re-commission the building (it has been unoccupied for four years), some modifications to be made (e.g. install a bar) and we will get on with this in the New Year. We do not yet know when we might open the building for use (and this will depend on Coronavirus, of course), but we will proceed as fast as possible.

2020 Pandanet Go European Team Championship

In the third round of the B-League for 2020-2021 the UK played and beat Switzerland. There was a big gap in time between Jon Diamond's win and that of Daniel Hu, with that last game lasting not much short of three hours when the opponent's cuckoo clock reminded him it was bed time and he resigned. This kept the UK team in top position, with Italy beating Finland to move up to second place, a point behind UK.

CCTV World Youth

At the end of the seven round qualifying stage our youth team had won three matches, beating Argentina and Slovakia in the last two. Ryan Zhang in the junior section notably qualified for the eight-player knock-out stage, where he lost to America's Alexander Qi, who has gone on to reach the final against a Chinese player.

European Youth Go Team Championship

The match on 12th December was against Romania, but it was lost two games to three. This moved the team down to equal fourth.

Youth Match vs Hong Kong

This SuperGo match, which started in November, continued up to a Christmas break, with Julia Volovich having won two games so far.

British Youth Go Championships

The 2020 British Youth Go Championship (BYGC) featured 36 competitors, aged from 7 to 17. It was held over six rounds in the BGA Youth Group on OGS. The youth champions title stayed at Cheadle Hulme School, as did the Castledine Trophy for the best team, when Sam Barnett won all six games to take the title. Edinburgh's James Gillespie's Primary School was the top junior school. Section winners (runners-up) were: U18: Jayden Ng (Yuji Chen), U16: Scott Cobbold (Edmund Smith), U14: Sam Barnett (Oliver Bardsley), U12: Daniel Yang (Isabella Qiu), U10: Alexander Timperi (Andrew Volovich), U8: Ryan Zhang (Lukasz Kudla).


Appeal for Volunteers

The Online Committee is exploring ways to better support on-line Go, our social media presence, and our website. If anyone is willing to consider offering some of their spare time to assist during the coming year, no matter how little, please contact Colin Williams so we can discuss what might be possible. Technical skills are not essential, but if anyone has any relevant skills or experience that would of course be great.

Online Congress early in 2021

Message from BGA Secretary Colin Williams, as posted on Gotalk
I am pleased to be able to update you all on the plans for an Online Congress in early 2021. These are still provisional, but I wanted to alert you in good time. The Congress will run from Saturday Feb 20th to Sunday March 7th. We hope it will consist of:
An Open event, being a 6 round McMahon tournament, with 3 rounds on each of the first two weekends. This will be a class ‘D’ EGF rated event.
Round 1 on Sat 20th
Rounds 2 & 3 on Sun 21st
Rounds 4 & 5 on Sat 27th
Round 6 on Sun 28th
A small board event. This is likely to run over two weekday evenings, probably the same day of the week in w/c 22nd and w/c 1st.
A RenGo event, probably on Saturday 6th. This will not be restricted to mixed-gender pairs, and is intended to give an opportunity for those who have yet to try pairs play to have a go.
A Youth tournament, on Sunday 7th. We understand that this date clashes with the current plans for the European Youth Tournament in Prague, and if that goes ahead this tournament may well not.

We would like to arrange some Teaching or Training sessions during the midweek. The form of these has yet to be agreed with our potential sponsors, but could be game reviews, lectures, or something else.

This is intended to be a friendly event with an emphasis on enjoyment, providing a chance of playing good quality Go whilst face to face events will probably still be impossible. We are looking to put in place some anti-cheating measures but hope to make these as unobtrusive as possible. The prizes on offer have yet to be decided, but will be at a level commensurate with a friendly event, and should be attainable by players at all levels.

This is the first time the BGA has organised an online event on this scale, so please do bear with us both as we finalise the plans and during the running of the Congress. Fuller details, and an entry form, will be published in due course – probably around the end of this month.

Finally, this is not intended to replace the annual face-to-face Congress, I expect news on the likelihood and dates for that to appear in due course.


Additional restrictions have come in to force as the Covid-19 infection rate rises. Anyone thinking of planning a face-to-face event should think carefully about whether social distancing and related regulations in their part of the UK can be fully met.

Government guidelines may be found at:
* England
* Scotland
* Wales
* Northern Ireland

Face-to-face events are provisional. Tournament organisers will be responsible for safety and legal compliance. Various Online events are being planned. For further details see

February, Online Youth
February/March, BGA Online Congress
May, Not the London Open
June, Pair Go, Cheltenham, Welsh Open
August, Youth Training Residential
November, Doki Doki
December, London Open

Last updated Tue Jan 19 2021.
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