Archive: Championships’ Rules 2006

The rules have been revised by the BGA council for 2006. They will apply to the 2006 and all subsequent championships (until amended), and supersede all previous versions.

This set of rules refers to the following championships:

  • the British Go Championship;
  • the British Pair Go Championship;
  • the British Youth Championships.

There is no British Women’s Championship as the BGA believes that men and women should be able to play Go on an equal footing. However the BGA awards British women Women’s World Amateur Qualification ("WWAQ") points based on their performance in the British Open. These points are used as a guide when selecting women for places in international women’s tournaments.

Contents

A   General

A1   The Championships’ Organiser

The Championships’ Organiser is appointed by the BGA Council.

The Championships’ Organiser is responsible for:

  • appointing Organisers for the three stages of the British Championship (Candidates’ Tournament, Challengers’ League and Title Match);
  • appointing Organisers for the British Pair Go Championship;
  • appointing Organisers for the British Youth Championships;
  • appointing suitable Referees for each of the above events;
  • publicity and practical arrangements not otherwise delegated to Organisers;
  • arranging suitable internet broadcasting of and commentary on the Title Match games;
  • reporting progress on the above to the BGA Council.

The Championships’ Organiser may undertake any of the above roles themselves, subject to making adequate arrangements to prevent any conflict of interest in events in which they may be likely to participate.

The Championship's Organiser may delegate any or all of these duties and responsibilities to the relevant Event Organiser.

If this position is vacant the BGA Council will be responsible for undertaking these duties.

A2   Eligibility

Members of the BGA are eligible to play in the British Championships events, subject to the qualifying criteria for each competition and the discretion of the BGA Council, provided that:

  • they hold or are eligible to hold a British passport; or
  • they have been resident in the UK for the five calendar years prior to the year in which the particular championship is being held, with no continuous absence exceeding six months.

For the British Pair Go Championships players must satisfy the first condition above. For the British Youth championship, see Rule G.5

A3   Invitations and Notifications

All events will be publicised in advance by the BGA newsletter and on the BGA web site, and will include details of time and place, entry fees, contact details for the Event Organiser and a closing date for entry.

It is the responsibility of the qualified players to determine their eligibility for entry to the Candidates’ Tournament and the Challengers’ League.

The BGA Council will impose sanctions as seem appropriate in subsequent years on those withdrawing late and without good reason from either of these events.

If members believe they are qualified for an event but are unsure, they should contact the Championships’ Organiser.

A4   Referees

The Championships’ Organiser should appoint a suitable Referee for each Championship event (in the case of the British Championship Title Match the appointment may be for a single game). Referees are appointed subject to the approval by the BGA Council and the Organiser of that event. Normally approval will not be given to a Referee who is also a participant to avoid any conflict of interest.

The duties of the Referee shall be to interpret the rules of Go and the rules laid down for each competition, and to ensure that these rules are adhered to. The powers of the Referee will include the power to determine the results of games in case of dispute, and to impose any penalty including disqualification of one or both players if this is considered appropriate, for example because of unsporting behaviour. The specific duties of the Referee for each Event are covered in the relevant sections below.

An appeal may be made to the BGA Council, which reserves the right to act as it sees fit in any given case.

A5   Championship Rules - General

A5.1   Event Organiser

The Event Organiser means the recognised senior or lead organiser of an event.

A5.2   Rules

BGA championships are played under a version of the Japanese rules of Go as revised by the Nihon Ki-in and Kansai Ki-in in 1989. These may be found in the Go Player’s Almanac. However, with reference to Article 9.3 of those rules on the end of the game, the BGA Council makes the comment that restarting the game has never been the custom in the UK; and stipulates that all requests to restart the game after both players have passed be made only through the Event Organiser or Referee. Games which would be annulled under the Japanese rules are treated as jigo in championships other than the British Championship Title Match and Challengers’ League play-off, where they must be replayed.

A5.3   Komi

Komi will be 6 in all British Championship events (Title Match, Challengers’ League, Candidates’ Tournament, Pairs and Youth).

A5.4   Time Limits

The time limits for each event are set out in the respective section below. Players must start their game before the expiry of basic time after deduction of any time penalty.

A5.5   Overtime

Games which are not sudden death are played with Canadian (clock-resetting) overtime: a player whose flag drops has their clock reset to a specified number of minutes and counts out the specified number of stones to be played in that time; when the stones have been played, the player’s clock is reset once more and a further set of stones counted out.

Both players’ clocks should be stopped while clocks are reset and stones counted out. A player whose opponent is about to enter overtime should not stray from the board, and should point out the dropping of an opponent’s flag.

A player who passes during overtime should return one stone to their bowl in so doing. When a player plays their last stone they must press the clock without their flag falling. A player whose flag falls in overtime has lost. Both players should endeavour to point out that a flag has fallen regardless of which player’s flag has fallen. If a player points out that their opponent’s flag has fallen during overtime, they have won even if both flags have fallen. Other persons should not point out to the players that a flag has fallen. The Referee may intervene if they believe the overtime rules are not being properly observed.

A5.6   Stopping the Clock

It is open to the Event Organiser to instruct players to stop their clocks in the case of an unusual event or emergency. Unless the Event Organiser specifies otherwise, players may not stop their clocks themselves during a game except to set the clock for overtime, to call for the referee or to repair the position when it has become disorganised.

A5.7   Sealed Moves and Adjournments

Games are adjourned only in games in the British Championship Title Match with a Referee present. The Referee is responsible for supervising the recording of the sealed move, for recording the number of captured stones and the times on the clocks of each player and for holding the sealed move during the adjournment.

B   British Go Championship - Title Match

B1   The Title Match

The match for the title of British Go Champion will be the best of five games between the players placed first and second in the Challengers’ League. Once one player has won three games any remaining games need not be played.

Games will be scheduled in advance by the Championships’ Organiser to facilitate publicity and attendance.

Should either of the eligible players be unable or unwilling to complete the match according to the schedule specified by the Championships’ Organiser, the BGA Council will take action as it sees fit.

B2   The Title

The title "British Go Champion" is given to the winner of each year’s Title Match, to be held until the end of the subsequent year’s match.

The British Go Champion holds the John Barrs Go Ban. This must be returned to the BGA on loss of the title.

B3   Prizes

The BGA Council will award prizes for Champion, loser in the Title Match and other places in the Challengers’ League at their discretion, taking account of the availability of sponsorship money and other funds. Prizes will be announced in advance of the Candidates’ Tournament.

B4   Referee

All games in the Title Match will be played in the presence of a Referee. The Referee will be appointed by the Championships’ Organiser.

The duties of the Referee include:

  • checking that both players are familiar with the time limits and other match arrangements;
  • supervising nigiri (if the first game of the match) or checking that players have the appropriate colour (for second or subsequent games);
  • ensuring that the playing sessions and breaks occur as agreed;
  • supervising any adjournment of the game (for example over lunch);
  • ensuring that the complete game is recorded.

At each match game the Referee has discretion on the handling of the game. This includes powers to:

  • award a time penalty against a late player of twice the time after the agreed starting time;
  • recommend postponement or forfeit of the game, or other sanctions as they see appropriate, to the BGA Council through the Championships’ Organiser in the case of unjustified late arrival or non-arrival or other breaches of the rules.

B5   Time Limits

The time limits for the Title Match will be 180 minutes each, with overtime of 10 plays in 10 minutes.

British Championship Title Match games normally have sessions of two to three hours with adjournments for lunch and tea. It is the responsibility of the Referee to arrange these breaks if they are taken.

B6   Choice of Colours

Colours will be decided at the start of the first game by nigiri supervised by the Referee, and will then alternate.

B7   Practical Arrangements

Arrangements for the Title Match are the responsibility of the Championships’ Organiser, reporting to the BGA Council.

The Championships’ Organiser should publish potential match dates and locations at the same time as the Candidates’ Tournament and Challengers’ League dates are published. The final dates should be agreed with the players within three weeks of the Challengers’ League and published in the subsequent newsletter. Games must be held by the end of the calendar year.

The Championships’ Organiser must ensure that the venue for each game is appropriate. Games should be played in a neutral venue at which spectators are welcome.

Refreshments should be available for the players and the Referee.

C   British Go Championship - Challengers’ League

C1   The League

The League will be an eight player all-play-all to be held over four consecutive days. This will usually be the late May bank holiday weekend, Friday to Monday, unless the period from the Tuesday before until the Wednesday after the weekend coincides withe the dates of the WAGC including its scheduled travelling days. Otherwise a different weekend will be agreed by the Championship Organiser and Council and and announced on the BGA web site as soon as possible after the dates of the WAGC are announced.

Two games will be played on each of the first three days. The seventh game will be played on the morning of the fourth day. Players are required to be available for the afternoon of the fourth day for any play-offs that are needed to finalise the results of the League.

Players must play in all seven rounds of the all-play-all.

C2   Qualification

The Champion from the previous year retains a place as of right in the Challengers’ League. Also the UK representative at the WAGC also gets a place automatically if (but only if) the dates of the WAGC make it impossible to attend both the WAGC and the Candidates’ Tournament. The remaining six or seven places are filled from the best placed players from the Candidates’ Tournament.

Should any of these prove subsequently unable to play in the League, further players from the Candidates’ Tournament may be invited to participate as required. Qualified players must confirm their intention to play by the date specified by the Championships’ Organiser.

C3   The Challengers

The players placed first and second in the League become Challengers in the British Championship Title Match.

C4   Ranking

A final ranking is determined by ordering players in decreasing number of wins. Where players are tied on the same number of wins they are first ranked according to the qualifying ranking for that year’s League as described below. If players ranked 2 and 3 in this ranking have the same number of wins they will play-off to determine their final position.

The qualification ranking is defined as the previous Champion, then the WAGC player (if they did not play the Candidates’), and then those who qualified in the Candidates’ Tournament (in order of qualification).

C5   Referee

All games in the League will be played in the presence of a Referee. The Referee will be appointed by the Championships’ Organiser.

The duties of the Referee include:

  • checking that all players are familiar with the time limits and other arrangements;
  • determining the draw as described in Rule C7;
  • ensuring that the playing sessions occur as agreed;

The Referee has discretion on the handling of the League. This includes powers:

  • to award a time penalty against a late player of twice the time after the agreed starting time;
  • to recommend to the BGA Council through the Championships’ Organiser disqualification from the League, or other sanctions as they see appropriate, in the case of unjustified late arrival or non-arrival or other breaches of the rules.

C6   Time Limits

The time limits for the League games will be 105 minutes each, with overtime of 15 plays in 5 minutes.

The time limits for the play-off games are 90 minutes per player with overtime of 20 plays in 5 minutes.

C7   Draw

The referee shall randomly assign the letters A to H to the players. The playing order is then as follows with the first mentioned player taking black.

Round

Board

1

2

3

4

1

A v H

B v G

D v E

F v C

2

E v F

C v A

H v B

G v D

3

D v B

F v G

A v E

C v H

4

G v A

H v D

B v F

E v C

5

F v D

E v H

C v G

A v B

6

B v C

D v A

H v F

G v E

7

G v H

E v B

C v D

A v F

Colours are chosen by nigiri for any play-off games.

C8   Practical Arrangements

Arrangements for the League are the responsibility of the Championships’ Organiser, reporting to the BGA Council.

The Championships’ Organiser should publish the League dates and location at least 2 months before the Candidates’ Tournament.

The Championships’ Organiser must ensure that the venue for the League is appropriate. Games should be played in a neutral venue at which spectators are welcome.

Light refreshments should be available for the players and the Referee.

The Championships’ Organiser should appoint a suitable Referee for the League and ensure that they are familiar with the League rules.

D   British Go Championship - Candidates’ Tournament

D1   The Candidates’ Tournament

The Candidates’ Tournament will be a six round Swiss tournament held over the early May Bank Holiday weekend (if possible), with two games on each day.

The top six or seven players (see C2) qualify for the Challengers’ League.

Players must play in all six rounds of the tournament.

D2   Qualification

Qualification for the Candidates’ Tournament will be from playing all rounds in a tournament in the preceding calendar year and achieving an EGF rating of 1900 or higher thereafter. For the avoidance of doubt the London Open is the last qualifying event in the year.

Please note that deliberately entering an event at too high a grade just to get a 1900 rating will not be tolerated.

The BGA Council has the discretion to allow participation of other players in exceptional circumstances.

In addition to the above there shall be one reserve place made available to be activated only if there would otherwise be an odd number of players participating. If the position is activated, this player shall be treated as if they had qualified in their own right. The Championships’ Organiser shall be responsible for allocating this place.

D3   Ranking

The following ordering system will be used to obtain the final ranking for the Candidates’ Tournament:

  1. decreasing number of wins
  2. decreasing sum of opponents’ scores (SOS)
  3. ranking in the previous year's championship events

The ranking in the previous year's championship events is defined as:

  1. participants in the previous Challengers' League, in order of their final ranking
  2. participants in the previous Candidates' Tournament, in order of their final ranking
  3. all other players, unordered

Any remaining tie in the ordering, that affects which players are selected for the Challengers' League, is broken by nigiri.

D4   Time Limits

The time limits for the Candidates’ Tournament games will be 90 minutes each, with overtime of 20 plays in 5 minutes.

D5   Practical Arrangements

Arrangements for the Tournament are the responsibility of the Championships’ Organiser, reporting to the BGA Council.

The Championships’ Organiser should publish the Tournament dates and location by 1 November of the relevant year.

The Championships’ Organiser must ensure that the venue for the Tournament is appropriate. Games should be played in a neutral venue at which spectators are welcome.

The Championships’ Organiser shall ensure that full information on the event is available at least two months before the date of the tournament. This information may include a closing date for entries, such a date to be not more than three weeks before the date of the Tournament.

Players wishing to enter the Candidates’ Tournament should determine for themselves if they qualify, as personal invitations will not be issued, although the Championships Organiser may consulted for advice about qualifying.

Light refreshments should be available for the players and the Referee.

The Championships’ Organiser should appoint a suitable Referee for the Tournament and ensure that they are familiar with the Tournament Rules.

The Championships’ Organiser may disqualify players from the Tournament in the case of unjustified late arrival, non-arrival or entry after the closing date. Any player so disqualified shall have the right of appeal to the BGA Council.

D6   Referee

All games in the Candidates’ Tournament will be played in the presence of a Referee. The Referee will be appointed by the Championships’ Organiser.

The duties of the Referee include:

  • checking that all players are familiar with the time limits and other arrangements;
  • ensuring that the playing sessions occur as agreed.

The Referee has discretion on the handling of the Tournament. This includes powers:

  • to award a time penalty against a late player of twice the time after the agreed starting time;
  • to recommend to the BGA Council (through the Championships’ Organiser) disqualification from the Tournament or other sanctions as they see appropriate, in the case of any breach of the rules.

E   British Go Championship - Qualifying Tournaments

E1   Qualifying Tournaments

These are tournaments from which players may qualify for the Candidates’ Tournament stage of the British Championship.

E2   Tournament Conditions

In order to count as a Qualifying Tournament the following criteria must be met:

  • the tournament is EGF rated
  • the tournament is in the calendar year prior to that of the Championship (year ends with London Open)

F   British Pair Go Championship

F1   The Pair Go Championship

The Championship will be a one day, three round Swiss tournament of eight teams, played according to the IAPGC rules.

F2   Qualification

The Championship will be open to teams of one male and one female. Both members of a pair must be BGA members and holders of a British passport, or be eligible to hold a British passport.

When more than eight teams meet the above criteria, the top eight will be selected to play on the basis of the mean of the team members’ recognised tournament grades, with random tie-break (nigiri). Those not selected will be able to participate in other events run alongside the Championship.

F3   Time Limits

The time limits for the Pair Go Championship will be 45 minutes, sudden death.

F4   Choice of Colour

Colour will be selected at the start of each game by nigiri.

F5   Practical Arrangements

Arrangements for the Championship are the responsibility of the Championships’ Organiser and the Event Organiser in that year.

The Championships’ Organiser should ensure that the Championship date and location are published well in advance of the event. They should ensure that the venue is appropriate.

The Championship’ Organiser should appoint a suitable Referee and ensure they are familiar with the Championship rules.

G   British Youth Championships

G1   The Youth Championship

The Championship will normally be held on a single day and be run on any system determined by the Championships’ Organiser, or at their discretion by the Event Organiser, to produce an overall Youth Champion.

G2   Age Group Champions

The Championship will also produce winners in age categories under-18, under-16, under-14, under-12, under-10 and under-8. Players will be entered in the youngest possible age group according to their age on the previous 31st August.

G3   Youth Team Championship

The Team Championship shall be run once each academic year and be open to teams of three UK-based youth players from the same BGA-affiliated school or youth Go club. An appropriate tournament system shall be determined by the Event Organiser, with regard to the number of teams competing. This competition may be run as part of the Youth Championships.

G4   Other Youth Championships

Any other youth championships that are held from time to time, such as a Youth Pairs event, shall be run as open events, with entry restricted by age but not by nationality.

G5   Eligibility

The overall Youth Championship will be open to players aged under 18 on the previous 31st August and who hold, or are eligible to hold, a British passport.

The age-group championships will be open to players in the designated age bands (see Rule G.2 who:-

  • satisfy the criterion in the previous paragraph; or
  • have been resident in the UK for the five calendar years prior to the year in which the particular championship is being held, with no continuous absence exceeding six months; or
  • have been playing Go in the UK since they were weaker than 20-kyu, with no continuous absence exceeding six months since then.

Resident youths of other nationalities may play in the handicap section of the event, but not in the title sections. All players must be members of the BGA, or of a BGA-affiliated school or youth Go club.

G6   Practical Arrangements

Arrangements for the Championship are the responsibility of the Championships’ Organiser and the Event Organiser in that year.

The Championships’ Organiser should ensure that the Championship date and location are published well in advance of the event and notified to all youth clubs affiliated to the BGA. They should ensure that the venue is appropriate.

The Championships’ Organiser should appoint a suitable Referee and ensure they are familiar with the Championship rules.

H   British Representatives in International Events

H1   Selection as British Representatives

The BGA Council has absolute discretion in selecting players to participate as British representatives in International events, but it shall be guided by the qualifying points systems described below.

Players winning a Championship for the first time may be given a priority nomination for international events.

All nominations will be subject to the rules for attendance at the respective events.

H2   World Amateur Qualification (WAQ) Points System

This points system is used as a guide for selection of the British player in the World Amateur Go Championship.

Points are awarded to players in the Challengers’ League and the British Championship Title Match as follows:

the champion

9 WAQ points

1st in Challengers’ League (if not champion)

8 WAQ points

2nd in Challengers’ League (if not champion)

7 WAQ points

3rd in Challengers’ League

6 WAQ points

4th in Challengers’ League

5 WAQ points

5th in Challengers’ League

4 WAQ points

6th in Challengers’ League

3 WAQ points

7th in Challengers’ League

2 WAQ points

8th in Challengers’ League

1 WAQ points

Except that: if there are players on an equal number of wins at the end of round seven of the Challengers’ League, then the points for those league places are shared equally between the league places concerned.

A player taking part in the World Amateur Go Championship has their points reset to zero and this happens before any points for that year are awarded.

H3   Women’s World Amateur Qualification (WWAQ) Points System

This points system is used as a guide for selection of British representatives in international Women’s Amateur Go events, such as have been held in Japan and South Korea.

The current system is that WWAQ points will be awarded to women competing in the British Open, held at the British Go Congress. Points will be given according to final ranking by McMahon score, with players tied by that score sharing the points assigned to the places. Up to eight players will be awarded points, with 8 points being given to the top player, 7 to the second player and so on with a decrement of one point each place.

A player taking part in the Women’s World Amateur Go Championship (or equivalent) has her points reset to zero.

H4   World Amateur Pair Go Qualification (WAPGQ) Points System

This system is used as a guide for the selection of the British representatives at the World Amateur Pair Go Championship.

The current system is that points will be awarded to individuals in a pair. A point is gained per person for each game won in the Championship.

Both players have their points reset to zero when they are representatives at the World Amateur Pair Go Championship.

Only teams that have played together will be considered.

Current pairings will be given preference.

H5   Other International Events

The points systems described in H1 to H4 may be used as guidelines when selecting representatives for other international events, as alternatives to the rankings from the most recent British Championships.





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