British Go Journal No. 66. November 1985 Page 6.

Dear Sir,

As secretary of the Aberdeen Go Club for many years, I feel compelled to resign from this post as a result of continued lack of interest in the club on the part of the majority of our members.

I would like it to go on record that I was instrumental in founding the Aberdeen University Club, which is currently thriving, and indeed won the prize in 1983 for the highest number of fully paid up BGA members in the year. However I received little or no encouragement from the Aberdeen City Club in this and other projects to further Go in the city of Aberdeen.

I would advise all others to take heed - don't let the secretary carry the club on his own: it doesn't work.
Yours sincerely,
Mr. D. Hall.

And Toby Manning replies to a previous correspondent:

In the previous BGJ Jay Rastall wrote complaining about the organisation of the Bracknell Go Tournament, am not going to defend that particular tournament in detail (I wasn't there), but would like to some more general points by way of riposte to his remarks.

Jay effectively made three complaints:
1. Shortage of information from the organisers
2. Too much time between rounds
3. Poor treatment of late entrants

Shortage of information from the organisers is not really excusable - Jay was awarded a bye in the third round, but was not, it seems, properly informed until far too late.
Too much time between rounds - perhaps we need to reconsider the conventional tournament format. Three one hour games is a bit too leisurely, while four 55 minute games can be a bit rushed. Woodford recently experimented with 70 minute games (with 5 seconds byo-yomi - equivalent to sudden death), which worked quite well.

But Jay's major complaint seemed to be he was badly treated as a late entrant. The entry form warned that "late entrants will be surcharged or given a bye", and Jay duly was.

Tournament organisers work hard, and do a lot of preliminary planning. Much of that depends on the entry numbers - catering, number of sets and clocks, prizes etc. Their job is a lot easier if the entries are received in advance.

As a result various threats are commonly used to dissuade late entrants - the commonest being byes or a surcharge. (As an aside, a discount for early entry may be prefereable to a surcharge for late entry). Particularly in the allocation of byes, organisers have to make Solomon-like decisions, and this is much easier if there are clear-cut rules as to who is going to suffer.

As a final, and I hope, positive point, organisers are likely to be much more receptive to people who enter and then withdraw (at say 24 or 48 hours notice) than to late entrants. Usually I believe you will find that your entry fee will be refunded - possibly less a small administration charge.

That reminds me, I must enter the Wessex.

(Ed. - as someone who has himself suffered many byes, for a variety of reasons, at Bracknell and elsewhere, I sympathised with Jay. And he was surely complaining more about the casual way he was treated than about receiving a bye itself.

But that aside, there is no doubt that byes are bad news, especially if you've travelled a long way to a tournament. Surely it would be better if, like the steward at a bridge evening, tournaments had a local club player/organiser who could step in and even up the draw?


This article is from the British Go Journal Issue 66
which is one of a series of back issues now available on the web.

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