BGA Newsletter 277 April 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.

Pandanet Go European Team Championship

The UK team drew an exciting match against Italy. Game reports from the players Daniel Hu, Alex Kent, Jon Diamond and Des Cann are here.

22-March: BGA Launches YouTube Channel

The BGA now has its own YouTube channel containing initially some of Mateusz Surma's recent lectures and game reviews. This follows on from the success of the London Go Centre channel.

A year of COVID-19 Virtual Meetings -- Oxford City Go Club

A message from Harry Fearnley: "In the Newsletter 265, April 2020, we reported on our early use of Zoom meetings with the OGS Go Server. Now, we pay for a recurrent monthly Zoom subscription (~£171 p/a), and have been using this combination twice a week, for many months.

This has worked well, with more of us becoming familiar with the technology. We have managed to keep in touch with absentee club members (in Australia, China, Germany, and Yorkshire), and have extended our reach to include others – both new arrivals locally, and existing contacts from elsewhere (Australia, China, Netherlands, London, Staffordshire, etc.). We like the idea of the club staying fairly "local", but have been happy to have visitors from elsewhere.

We have found Zoom's "Breakout Rooms" very useful to allow a few people to have detailed discussions, without disrupting the other players in the Main Room. We use Zoom's "Share Screen" to review games – much easier than using OGS's Review Game function, or their Chat window, alone. We often use OGS's free KataGo AI review – several of us also pay OGS for an enhanced version (~£5 p/m), which we use to enhance our Reviews. In addition, some club members run KataGo/ Katrain (or similar) on their own PC – particularly good for the more complicated positions.

Recently, we used Zoom (easily) to record one of our review discussions – Ondrej Kruml (5 dan) commenting on an (even) Teaching game that he had played with a 1 kyu – including comments from other Club members. Gerry Gavigan then spent many hours cleaning up the video to put it on the LGC YouTube channel. Some further information is on our Club's page"

Want to visit a (real) Go Club, virtually?

Harry Fearnley again: "Your Club not meeting yet, and wanting to play some non-tournament games? ... The Oxford Go Club welcomes visitors, and meets virtually twice a week – Tuesday evenings (18.30-23.00~), and Saturday mornings (10.00-13.30~) – and we have space for a few more.

We use Zoom, and play on OGS, where we have a Club room – more details elsewhere in this Newsletter. Please email – if you want to join us for some meetings."


Annual General Meeting

The 2021 AGM will be held, like last year, as a virtual meeting using ZOOM. It will be on Friday 7th May, at 20:00. The Agenda is as follows:

  1. Election of Tellers

  2. Minutes of 2020 AGM
    Motion 1 - ‘The members accept the minutes of the 2020 AGM’

  3. Matters arising from the minutes

  4. Officer’s Reports
    a) President
    b) Treasurer
    c) Secretary
    d) Membership Secretary
    e) Auditor

  5. Elections
    a) President
    b) Treasurer
    c) Secretary
    d) Council Members
    e) Auditor

  6. Council Motions
    Motion 2 - ‘That the BGA agrees in principle to change from an Unincorporated Association to a Company Limited by Guarantee, and instructs Council to consult with Members in order to bring forward a proposal to an EGM to be held at a suitable date later in the year’
    Motion 3 - ‘That the BGA should provide two levels of membership: one with printed journal, one without. Council is free to set appropriate pricing of these membership levels.’

  7. Member's Motions Motions proposed by H Fearnley and seconded by R Mullens
    Motion 4 - ‘Terminate the existing contractual arrangements to produce a paper copy of the BGJ, as soon as possible.’
    Motion 5 - ‘The BGA implement a separate, opt-in, service for members -- "delivery of printed BGJ" -- which is fully costed, and self-supporting.’
    Motion 6 - ‘Any decision to dissolve the BGA must require the approval of 75% of the individual membership of the BGA’
    Motion 7 - ‘Any decision to transfer assets from the BGA into a new entity must require the approval of 75% of the individual membership of the BGA.’

  8. Any Other Business

This agenda can be found on the Members' Area of the website. It also contains links to a number of papers for the AGM, and instructions on the handling of Proxy votes if required.

Please note that more supporting papers are likely to be added over the coming days.

Rating System

Recent research has indicated that the European Go Ratings System needed revising. The system was deflationary, resulting in European grades being out-of-step with those in the United States and the Far East. As a result the EGF set up a Ratings Commission (convened by Toby Manning) which developed a revised algorithm to convert Tournament Results into Ratings. Toby has now stood down from the Ratings Commission.

This new algorithm has now been implemented, and as BGA ratings are based on the European Go Database your rating will have (almost certainly) improved. For stronger dan players there is little change, while for the bulk of players around 1 dan there is a change of bit less than 1 rank upwards, so for example a 1 kyu with 1992 rating points (GoR) has now 2068 GoR and can play as 1 dan. For single or double digit kyus this change can make up to 140 rating points, it depends bit how many tournaments / games they have played.

The floor of the Ratings System has also been moved from 20 kyu to 30 kyu. This will give beginners an easier start into the world of rated games, and will avoid any "pile-up" at 20 kyu.

The system is run by Lorenz Trippel and Julien Corcessin (Switzerland). They would like to improve the system, to bring it up to current web standards. If you are knowledgable in the areas of PHP programming, databases, web design or simply want to help update the documentation or help validating tournaments please contact Lorenz (


BBC Two’s quiz show Mastermind is currently scouring the UK to find contenders for the next series which will be filmed in Belfast! Entry is open to all UK residents (including Channel Islands & the Isle of Man) who are aged 18 or over.

Although applications close on Monday 24th May 2021 at midnight, we would encourage you to apply as soon as possible as casting is currently under way. Please email to request an application form (it takes just 10 minutes to complete).

Discounts at Hoyle's of Oxford

The owner Phillip Scaysbrook informs us that the physical bricks and mortar shop is to open on 12th April. There is a 10% discount for BGA members, both online if you order via the BGA website and in the shop. They have expanded the range on offer slightly since before lockdown, including the books.


Restrictions due to the risk of infection with Covid-19 continue. 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

April, Youth Monthly - Rapid Play Handicap on OGS
May, Youth Monthly - McMahon on OGS, London Go Centre (may change to June)
June, Pair Go (provisional), Cheltenham (provisional), Durham (Online), Welsh Open (provisional)
July, UK Go Challenge Finals (Online)
August, Youth Training Residential (provisional)
September, European Women's Go Championship, London
December, London Open

Last updated Thu Apr 08 2021.
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