Oxford City Go Club

We play the oriental board game Go – Japanese: 囲碁 (いご / Igo), Chinese: 围棋/ 圍棋(WéiQí [Wei-Ch'i]), Korean: 바둑 (Baduk/Paduk).

Our traditional venue   F R E U D S   is still closed! Meanwhile, we are meeting at an alternative venue: Check here, and/or via the oxgo email list.

Meetings start at 6.30 while Freuds is closed

Visitors, and spectators are always welcome, as are complete beginners – we provide free teaching.

N E W S   :   January 2017   :   Younger players – we have received enquiries from a dozen younger players (aged 4-11) recently. Already, 5 of these (always accompanied by their parents) have been to play at the club. If interest persists, at some time in the future, we might be able to run some classes in Oxford some Sundays.
Specially for younger players, and temporarily, we will start our meetings at 4.30 pm, provided we have been notified in advance!.

In March 2016, the computer program AlphaGo (with power equivalent to several thousand PCs) won 4-1 against Lee Sedol (world's #1/ #2).

In late 2016, AlphaGo played sixty fast games against top professionals (including the world's number one, Ke Jie) on a couple of internet Go Servers. The result was a spectacular 60-0 to AlphaGo. However, playing Go is still as enjoyable, and challenging, as ever. :-)

Check meeting schedule for late changes!

For info on some recent events, see some recent events.


Where we meet

Temporarily -- while Freuds is Closed -- we meet at Harry's details via the oxgo email list

We play in Freud Cafe.

Please check venue details in the table below before every visit!.

Freud Cafe

Tuesdays is our Club night, and we try always to meet in the Freud cafe, Walton Street, Oxford, OX2 6AH (Tel 01865 311171) – see Freud's Facebook page – hopefully, this will have up-to-date availability/opening-times. Freud's Cafe is a building which looks like a Greek temple, and was built as St. Paul's church in 1835-6 (see British History Online, and Jericho Echo Online).

Freud's is about one kilometre north west of the City Centre. It is about ten minutes' walk from the bus station, fifteen minutes' walk from the railway station, and fifteen minutes' walk from the city centre.

Parking is usually easy to find nearby, and costs about £2.50 for the whole evening. After 10.00 p.m. there should be several free parking spaces, but many Go players have left by then!

Freud's on Google Maps:
View Larger Map

When we meet

Temporarily -- while Freuds is closed -- our meetings will probably start at 6.30 pm -- check the schedule, below.

We normally meet on Tuesdays. However, sometimes our venue is closed on a Tuesday, so – for that week – we will meet on Thursday, instead! If (as normal) we do not have a planned meeting on a Thursday, but if you want to play at Freuds on the Thursday, we suggest that you send an email to the oxgo email list, saying when you will be there, and giving contact details for others to make arrangements with you, if they want to join you.

All arrangements with Freuds are subject to change, and unexpected revision. Therefore, please check this web-page regularly, and preferably before every visit.

Tuesday is our main Club night, and we almost always meet in Freud Cafe.

Tuesday meetings start at 19.30 (unless otherwise specified). We usually play until closing time, which is a bit variable – at least until 22.30.

Thursday is our (replacement/emergency) club night. Thursday meetings start at 20.30, and are also held in Freud Cafe. Closing time in Freuds on a Thursday, is variable – maybe after 24:00.

Please feel free to check the venue with Harry Fearnley by telephone, or email (see below). Please note: The best way to get up-to-date information about availability is to join the oxgo email list.

Our meeting schedule is as follows

2 0 1 7

June 2017

N.B. Temporarily, meetings start at 6.30 pm, while Freuds is closed for refurbishment.

Tuesday27thMeet at Harry's – 6.30 pm start (4.30 for younger players, by arrangement) – check the oxgo email list – (Not essential, but ...) Please tell Harry – send an email to harryfearnley@gmail.comZZZ (sorry - remove "ZZZ" from email address)

July 2017

N.B. Temporarily, meetings start at 6.30 pm, while Freuds is closed for refurbishment.

Tuesday4thMeet at Harry's – 6.30 pm start (4.30 for younger players, by arrangement) – check the oxgo email list – (Not essential, but ...) Please tell Harry – send an email to harryfearnley@gmail.comZZZ (sorry - remove "ZZZ" from email address)
Tuesday11thMeet at Harry's – 6.30 pm start (4.30 for younger players, by arrangement) – check the oxgo email list – (Not essential, but ...) Please tell Harry – send an email to harryfearnley@gmail.comZZZ (sorry - remove "ZZZ" from email address)
Tuesday18thMeet at Harry's – 6.30 pm start (4.30 for younger players, by arrangement) – check the oxgo email list – (Not essential, but ...) Please tell Harry – send an email to harryfearnley@gmail.comZZZ (sorry - remove "ZZZ" from email address)
Tuesday27thMeet at Harry's – 6.30 pm start (4.30 for younger players, by arrangement) – check the oxgo email list – (Not essential, but ...) Please tell Harry – send an email to harryfearnley@gmail.comZZZ (sorry - remove "ZZZ" from email address)

Who meets

When we meet there are usually about three to eight players. The regular players range in strength from 2-dan to 20-kyu, but we often have beginners, and occasionally players as strong as 6 dan, or even professionals.

Visitors, of all strengths, are very welcome, as are spectators. Complete beginners who have never played, are very welcome – we will provide free teaching.

Our members on Go Servers

Some of us also play on Go Servers – mainly the KGS Go Server. We maintain a table of present/past members, showing their various aliases on the servers.

Contact information

The club secretary is:
Harry Fearnley:
Email: harryfearnley@gmail.comZZZ (sorry - remove "ZZZ" from email address)
38 Henley Street
location: http://w3w.co/punk.cats.gifts
Tel: +44 1865 248775
Home Page: : bestiaries - studies on seki, etc.

Oxgo Mailing List

The oxgo email list is used mainly to send out late-breaking information about club meetings, as well as other club news/info. Any subscriber to the list can post to the list – no-one else can post to the list.

To join the oxgo mailing list, please send an email to harryfearnley@gmail.comZZZ (sorry - remove "ZZZ" from email address). You will be sent an invitation, and further information

Costs and Benefits


The club is affiliated to the British Go Association (BGA). We have no attendance charge. However, if you become a regular member, and/or want to borrow books/equipment, you will be expected to join the BGA, which has a relatively cheap subscription – 2016 annual subscriptions: Full: £24; Concessions: £15; Student (online only): £10.

There is no entrance charge – Freud's very kindly let us meet there for free. In return, please expect to buy your drinks (tea/ coffee/ beer/ wine)! This is particularly important on Thursdays.


  • Freuds Cafe:
    • Has cheap teas and coffees.
    • Is easily accessible from the City Centre
    • Is an unusual venue, albeit a chiily one in midwinter!
    • Unfortunately, no longer offer meals, or food of any kind.
    • Specialises in cocktails.
  • The club has its own equipment – boards (including 9x9, 13x13), stones, and clocks. It also has a small library – members may borrow these books.
  • Members of the BGA get a number of benefits – check out the BGA Membership application page. These include issues of the British Go Journal, newsletter, and discounts on books and equipment.
  • Free Teaching
    We take people from the very beginning – the rules! You can start playing Go within minutes. To learn the basic tactics, we normally start by using small (9x9) boards – games are quicker, more fun, and more instructive. The handicap system used in Go means that you can immediately start playing on even terms with all the other club members. Until you have become a much stronger ("Dan") player you will be able to find stronger players for teaching games, if desired. If you want to study the game seriously, we can offer advice on available books, software, and online resources.

Other Go things in Oxford

  • OUGoS
    The University Club (Oxford University Go Society) meets in the Town Centre, normally only in term-time. All OUGoS members may also freely attend the Oxford Go Club, just as we can visit their club. Its details are on the OUGoS web site.
  • Books and Equipment
    There are several shops and mail order suppliers in UK and other foreign suppliers. There are two specialist boadgames shops in Oxford which stock Go books, and equipment:
  • Annual Tournament
    Oxford normally has a Go tournament in mid February – not an alternative to St Valentine's Day! This popular event attracts players from accross the South East of England, and is usually organized by the Oxford University Go Society, with substantial help from Nick Wedd and others from the city club.
  • Some past events
    • 23rd May 2016: Kobayashi Chizu (5p) (小林 千寿) played several demonstration games against local players. These included a game against Junnan Jiang, who had recently won all 6 of his games at the Candidates' Tournament.

      Kobayashi Chizu at RSL

      (L to R): Junnan Jiang (back to camera), HF (standing) Kobayashi Chizu, Richard Ngo, and John Pusey. In the background is the Poster Display

      This was the highlight of the third, and final, lunchtime demonstration to be held in May, at the Radcliffe Science Library, Oxford. The demonstrations included playing Go, while fielding Go-related questions (including about AIs playing Go) from visitors/passers-by. There were several unusual Go books in English, Japanese, and Chinese, as well as a laptop to show the AlphaGo v Lee Sedol games.

      AlphaGo display at RSL

      The Radcliffe Science Library (RSL) had a 6-week-long display, inspired by the AlphaGo phenomenon. This included a Go-board, for passers-by to take turns playing on, and was accompanied by a concise set of rules, and a copy of the Feb 2016 Nature paper (by the Google Deepmind team -- https://deepmind.com/) about AlphaGo, and its games against Fan Hui (4p) in October 2015, ... as well as copies of two British-published Go books. There was also a "poster display" outlining the game, its history, and the AlphaGo program.

    • 27th Feb 2014: Two Japanese Professionals – Minematsu Masaki, and Kobayashi Chizu – visit: group play, and guided discussion of the opening, followed by simultaneous games against the professionals. Read a report.
    • 17 February 2013: The annual Oxford-Cambridge Match: The 2013 Oxford-Cambridge Match was held in St Edmund Hall, Oxford, on Sunday 17th February, the day after the Oxford Tournament.

      The Match consisted of two rounds, 50 mins each, with 30/5 Canadian overtime, and 7.5 komi for even games.

      All games were played using handicaps - one less than the normal correct handicap, so giving the advantage to the stronger player/team. 14 of the 21 games were played even.

      There were 11 players on each side. Cambridge had the strongest player (Li Shen), and Oxford the weakest. The playing strengths ranged from 5 dan to 12 kyu, with a majority of the players being dan level, and an average of about 1 kyu. On average, Oxford was 1/2 a stone stronger than Cambridge. Cambridge did better among both the weakest, and the strongest players, while Oxford were more successful in the middle of the range.

      After round 1, the score was Oxford 4 - 6 Cambridge, but the 7 - 4 result in round 2 led to the final result of a narrow win over all for Oxford, 11 - 10.

      Cambridge won the University Match fairly convincingly (7/13 vs 4/10, and direct games 5 - 2), while Oxford won the Gown Match convincingly (7/11 vs 3/8, and direct games 3 - 1).

    • Oxford Mail photo 16 February 2013: The 2013 Oxford Go Tournament was a great success – in size, second only to the London Open (Grand Prix), and with the largest number of UK-based players in any tournament for several years. There were 92 players from all over the UK, and of all strengths from 5 dan to 40 kyu, including the British Champion, Andrew Kay. There were competitors of all ages from 7 to 70, with 12 being aged less than 18. There is a brief report and photograph in the Oxford Mail (the local daily newspaper) on Wednesday 20th February. The detailed results are provided by the BGA.

      Li Shen (5d), now a student at Cambridge, returned to tournament Go at Oxford and won the event for the third time (previous wins were in 2003 and 2005). He was top of a list of 92 players which included a lot of fellow Cambridge students for the varsity match arranged for the following day, and a large number of novices who could also battle for their own prizes at the bottom end of the draw. Prize vouchers were again supplied by Hoyles who had a bookshop there as usual, and also there were software vouchers from SmartGo (software for iPad/iPhone/iPod Touch and Windows PCs), and GoGoD (Database & Encyclopaedia) . Others winning all three games were Paul Smith (1d Cambridge), Jonathan Reece (2k Oxford), Philip Smith (5k), Andrew Russell (6k Birmingham) and Daniel Peace (11k Oxford).

      The Free Entry Draw was won by Peter Harold-Barry who wisely registered early - on 9th December 2012!

      There were five teams, and the team prize was won by the Smiths (Paul, Roella, Edmund, Andrea, and Kelda) with 10/15.

      In the Novices' Tournament, first prize was won by Isabelle Margetts, who played 12 games in this tournament alone! The prize for second place was shared by Anthony Ghica and Rebecca Margetts.

      The youth prizes, and certificates, were awarded as follows: Under 18: First to Siu Fung Cheung; Second to Melchior Chui; Under 15: First to Roella Smith; Second to Oscar Selby; Under 12: First to Edmund Smith; Second to Kelda Smith; Under 9: First to Hilary Bexfield; Second to Isabelle Margetts; The other Under-18 players received certificates only.

      After the event a large group of players went off to the Simon Eve Memorial Dinner at Sojo's restaurant.

    • 19 February 2012: Oxford-Cambridge Go Match 2012 – Oxford wins 8-7!
    • 18 February 2012: Oxford Go Tournament 2012 – the BGA has published the results, and there was a record turnout of 87.
    • 9–10 April 2011: Go stall at Helping Hands for Japan cultural event at Marlborough School, Woodstock, Oxfordshire.

      The Go Club had a stall at the event, where we played /demonstrated Go, and taught anyone who wanted to learn. We also sold some books, and booklets, as well as cheap Go boards, donating all the proceeds (£76.00) to the fund. Most of the money raised at the week-end – about £10,000 for the whole event – was raised by selling admission tickets.

    • Oxford-Cambridge Match 2011 – Sunday, 13th February 2011. Result:
      Oxford 0 : 6 Cambridge
    • Oxford Go Tournament 2011
      Here are the results of the 2011 Oxford Tournament held on Saturday 12th February, 2011. This was followed by an (optional!) meal in a local restaurant – a chance to meet other Go players from the South East of England, and to remember Simon Eve.

    • NAGAO Kana and Kentaro visit: 2009-10 to 2010-02
      Kana, and her husband Kentaro, were one-time Pair Go representatives for Japan. Kana was tireless as the unofficial teacher for both our club, and the student's club. Her experience teaching in schools in Japan, and of presenting Go on a TV programme for the Nihon Ki-in, made her an ideal teacher.
    • Oxford Tournament 2008
      Here are the results of the 2008 Oxford Tournament held on Saturday 16th February, 2008. This was followed by an (optional!) meal in a local restaurant – a chance to meet other Go players from the South East of England, and to remember Simon Eve.

    • Korean Pros visit, March 2007
      Korean Professionals visit Oxford, March 2007: Two Korean pros – An YoungKil, and Lee JungWoo – visited UK as part of a European tour. Mr An, and Mr Lee, visited Oxford, and played simultaneous games (with handicap) – players from other clubs in S.E. England joined us. The professionals won all their games! There are further details of their UK visit.
    • Korean Pros visit, April 2006
      Korean Professionals visit Oxford, April 2006: On Thursday 6th April 2006, HaJin Lee, a new young female star of the Go-playing world – together with another woman Go professional, and well-known TV presenter/commentator, HaeWon Han – were guests of the Oxford City Go Club. We were joined by players from many other clubs, and played a total of 20 simultaneous games.

Other Go Clubs in the Region

There are other Go clubs nearby. See the British Go Association's map.

For further information, phone/email Harry Fearnley.

Please send any comments or suggestions by e-mail to the maintainer of this page at harryfearnley@gmail.comZZZ (sorry - remove "ZZZ" from email address)

Last updated Fri Jun 23 2017. If you have any comments, please email the webmaster on web-master AT britgo DOT org.