The British Go Association exists to promote and support the playing of the Oriental board game Go in the United Kingdom, and has done so since about 1953.
There are Go clubs in most big towns and cities. We organise about 50 Go events each year, including about 25 tournaments, the British Championship, youth activities, teaching sessions, exhibitions and other events.
We play an active part in the European Go Federation (EGF), taking a turn to be the host to the annual European Go Congress and other events, and are also a member of the International Go Federation (IGF) and the World Pair Go Association.
We work closely with the English Bridge Union and the English Chess Federation for wider recognition of Mind Sports and advise Mind Sports Academy on incorporation of Go into their multi-sport events.
We have around 500 members, and there are many more who play regularly but are not members (sadly). However, we do have pictures of some of them, including those who attend tournaments most, or are on the Association Council and Committees.
There are Go clubs meeting in all parts of the country regularly or irregularly. Most, of course, welcome new players and visitors, but check that a meeting is actually going ahead before attending. Find your closest one on our map.
We provide facilities to help members or non-members to meet each other to play Go or to form new clubs. See our Organisers Material page for some of the ways we help.
Go clubs find having their own web page is very useful at attracting new players and visitors. We offer free web space to affiliated clubs, if they cannot host a page themselves. Club sites contain meeting information and directions, a flavour of the club, plus any special activities being run.
We publish the British Go Journal (a print magazine produced four times per year), provide a news feed and send out a monthly electronic Newsletter to our members.
Of course, we also publish a website that you're reading!
In addition to our monthly electronic newsletter we provide three email discussion lists: one for general discussion, one for debate about how we're run, and one for organisers of youth Go. Here is how to join.
We encourage players to get better by studying and provide some recommendations as to the books you should read. We also provide specific teaching events around the country and online which are aimed at members, including one specifically targeting our stronger players which normally involves a resident Go professional.
We provide a Game Review Service for all members.
A professional normally provides teaching and game reviews at the London Open tournament and we occasionally organise specific events when they're visiting the UK.
Some of our stronger members normally provide lectures during the British Go Congress and also a teaching session on the afternoon preceding it.
Each year generous sponsors normally provide free accommodation and other local expenses and sometimes even free air tickets to allow British Go players to compete in the World Amateur Go Championship, the Korea Prime Ministers Cup International Amateur Baduk Championships and some years to the International Amateur Pair Go Championships, as representatives of the UK. In October 2008 a team of players attended the World Mind Sports Games in Beijing and in 2012 in Lille. We're expecting the 2016 edition to be in Macau.
We also often have representation in European tournaments, such as the European Students, European Pair Go and the Toyota-Denso Oza.
If representatives were chosen purely on the basis of strength, few players would benefit. They are therefore normally awarded on the basis of accumulated points.
We are also playing in the Pandanet European Teams Championship.
We run stalls at a number of exhibitions and events around the country and are also actively promoting Go to schools and young players. Our Junior pages show some of these activities and our School Teachers pages provide guidance to this group.
A variety of promotional material is available (mostly free) to clubs and members to help them promote Go in their area.
Discounts are available on books and equipment to our members. See Books and Equipments for more details.
Go playing and recording software is freely available from our Software Catalogue. We also provide an analysis service, help with putting on tournaments, and other services to members and clubs.
We monitor the European Go Ratings and recognise players with dan grades by issuing certificates when they reach a certain standard. The UK Rating list shows the rating and grade equivalent of active tournament players.
We organise an annual British Go Championship. The champion is the winner of a match between the top two players in the Challengers' League. Players qualify for the League by playing in the Candidates' Tournament which is open to all active tournament players above about 1 kyu in strength.
Around 50 Go tournaments are held regularly in Britain each year. We help with the organisation of these, and lend a draw computer, Go sets and clocks to them.
Each Go tournaments has a slightly different culture; most have side tournaments and some have quizzes and other competitions. Between rounds at tournaments, especially the longer or residential ones, unofficial activities sometimes take place.
If you plan to take children to a Go tournament, you should read our Policy on working with children and young people. Most events are suitable for older children, but you should check suitability for the very young.
Those interested in running their own tournament should check out our Organisers Material page.
Finally, for those who can't get to tournaments we also run a number of Online Leagues, in which any member is entitled to play.
We welcome anybody who loves the game of Go, is interested in the game or wants to support the idea of promoting Go playing, to join the British Go Association and so join a group of enthusiastic Go players and benefit from being part of a keen and dedicated organisation.