This document is intended to be a standard source of information on organising Go tournaments. It is aimed mainly at British readers, but is intended to be much more widely applicable.
The chapters contain gleanings from many years of experience, from several people, of Go organisation in Britain. If your preferred methods are not included, don't take it as a criticism – you could even email us so that they can be considered and possibly added.
Throughout, for brevity and convenience, a player is referred to as he, since the majority of players at present are male, despite the growing number of female players.
Material presented here may be copied as long as it is done to further the interests of Go playing, and is credited to the BGA.
This edition (May 2010) was prepared by Nick Wedd and Geoff Kaniuk, and updates the first web edition prepared by Edwin Brady. The last printed edition of the Organiser's Handbook  was prepared by Tony Atkins, and the first was produced by Toby Manning.
There have been many individual suggestions, and many contributions (both direct and indirect!) from the gotalk  mailing list. These are too numerous to mention individually, but we thank everyone for their input.
'Planning a Tournament' sets out all the steps needed to take you from an idea to the reality of having players arriving at your venue eager to play Go. 'Running a tournament' uncovers the detail of what needs to happen on the day to ensure that you have all the equipment you need and that you do not suffer major delays in getting games started. 'The McMahon System' explains the philosophy behind this extensively used method for doing the pairing in easy to understand language. 'Producing the Draw' provides very valuable practical advice for getting the draw done either on cards or by computer. 'Other Tournament Systems' is a useful collection for managing side events which add to the enjoyment of the tournament experience.
The 'Default Rules' apply to most tournaments, and where these are varied the changes should be shown in the advance literature. 'Useful Contacts' lists email addresses of people who may be able to help with some aspect of your tournament. 'Sample Press Release' provides valuable advice and a useful example. 'Organisers Toolbag' is a collection of links to useful information, the draw program, and documents that you can download and print. 'Tournament Organisers FAQ' is an easy to digest collection of issues designed to steer you along the best path to an enjoyable event. Finally 'McMahon system FAQ endeavours to provide you with answers to questions quite often raised by players at tournaments.
We organise the British Open, the London Open, and the British Championship cycle. All other British Go tournaments are the responsibility of clubs, or more rarely individuals. This section covers the advance planning needed to run a successful tournament .
You should start planning a date and venue at least four months in advance. The tournament calendar  lists dates of future tournaments, and it is best to avoid date clashes with other tournaments, particularly ones relatively close to yours. Our Tournament Coordinator  can advise you on this, and help you to chose a date.
As soon as you have fixed a date, you should inform him, so that your date can be placed on the calendar. As well as informing potential players, this will deter others from arranging their events on the same date. It is reasonable to reserve a date for your event a year or more in advance, if you are this well organised. If you delay fixing a date for too long, some players who might have entered will already have other commitments; also, you risk making it difficult for our people who provide the sets to get them too you.
When deciding on a venue, there are several factors you should consider.
You should check that the lighting and heating are adequate. Many lecture rooms and suchlike venues are only adequately lit at one end, and while it may be easy to obtain extra lights by asking for them in advance, it can be almost impossible to do so at 5 p.m. on a Sunday when the problem becomes apparent.
Once you have decided on a date and venue, you should send the details to our Tournament Coordinator, who will add this information to the calendar.
We have public liability insurance that covers all our affiliated events. For more details of exactly what is covered, please contact the Treasurer .
Availability of the venue is likely to govern the choice between Saturday and Sunday, but travel logistics can be significant: travel is generally easier on a Saturday. Public transport is better, and while the roads are generally clear in the morning of a tournament, traffic can build up on a Sunday evening. You should ensure that it is feasible to travel to the venue by train, particularly from London or other local big cities. Parking can be easier on a Sunday.
The tournament format includes things like the number of rounds, time limits, and pairing method. These can affect the value of the results submitted to the EGF for ratings purposes.
Most tournaments in the UK are run on the McMahon system , with three rounds. However, this does not mean you should have to follow this format – in fact, it suggests that you should try something different, as many people would prefer a variety of formats. Some other formats which have been tried include:
You should decide the format well in advance, and inform our Tournament Coordinator so that he can include it with the tournament details. See Other Tournament Systems  for a discussion of some tournament formats you might consider other than McMahon.
The results of British tournaments will in most circumstances count towards EGF ratings. Many players value these ratings, and some are more likely to attend an event which can contribute more to their ratings. Ratings are weighted according the tournament class, as explained in the European Go Federation's page under Tournament classes , and the format you choose for your tournament will determine its class. At the time of writing, the requirements, which assume the use of Canadian overtime, are
"Adjusted time" is the main time plus the time to make 60 moves in overtime. Other tournaments (such as lightning or small board tournaments) are unclassified and do not count towards ratings.
Note for the purposes of the rating list, the maximum number of rating points you can gain is the same in a three-round class A event, a four-round class B event, or a six-round class C event.
The tournament coordinator will add this information to the calendar, although the class of a tournament is in fact at the discretion of our Tournaments Committee and the EGF Ratings Committee.
You may apply for your tournament to be treated as having a lower class than it qualifies for. This can happen for example if the premises turn out to be unsatisfactory in some way.
Part of your planning is arranging to get playing equipment delivered, borrowing our laptop for the draw and providing space for the bookshop if it will be present.
We can provide up to 100 go sets, boards and mechanical clocks for your event to use. Some of these are superior sets which are normally only used for special events. The normal tournament sets come in multiples of 12 (some loads have 15 clocks to cover for breakdowns). In order to defray transport and maintenance costs, we apply a levy for the use of the equipment that we provide.
Usually volunteers carry sets from one event to the next. This is arranged through the Tournament Coordinator. Clearly it may be more reliable and helpful if you collect some sets from the previous event, although this is not a requirement. The Tournament Coordinator will contact you some time before your tournament to arrange equipment. You will need to estimate how many sets you will require (obviously this will be half as many as there are players). This is not always an easy thing to do for a new tournament, but the Tournament Coordinator will be able to help based on the number of entries you have had so far.
There is a laptop with a printer available for the use of tournament organisers. The laptop can be used for doing the draw, and the printer for printing it out. To arrange use of the laptop, contact Geoff Kaniuk (draw-program at britgo dot org).
You should ensure that there is a mobile phone available that can be used on the day for players to ring in and inform you of late or cancelled entries. The phone number should be publicised on the information on the tournament web-site.
Our bookseller may be able to make a book and equipment stall available for your event. This depends on whether he would be coming to your event anyway or whether you can collect some stock from him in advance. A table at one end of the playing room will usually suffice to accommodate this. Please contact the Book Seller  if you want to take advantage of this.
Alternatively if you have a local games shop, they might like to run a stall and could even maybe pursuaded to donate some prizes or provide them at a discount.
The two principal methods of publicising a tournament are through the our web site and the British Go Journal. When you have sent the details to the Tournament Coordinator, the information will be posted on the web site and added to the BGJ for you. However, there are some extra things you can do which make this more effective:
It is useful to create a tournament website with further information about your event; the tournament coordinator will place a link to this on the calendar. We can host a small website for you. This website should include the following information:
If your event is open to all, and you have a web site which gives its details including the schedule and directions for getting there, the URL will be listed in the British Room on KGS.
In addition, it is good to have an online entry form, to make it as easy as possible to enter – we have a new registration system that might help with this. You should request at least: name, playing strength, club, whether they are a concession (e.g. student or unemployed) and whether they are a member of the Association (see details of the levy).
If you maintain on the web site a list of those who have already registered, it will help by encouraging others, who see that their friends will be there, to enter. A few people will not want their names to be published on such a list, so you should allow for this. Using the BGA registration system may help you by setting up such a list.
Nowadays, most people will enter your tournament online, whether by email or through an online entry form. It is good practice to acknowledge receipt of each entry.
You will probably find, no matter how far in advance you announce your tournament, that most of the entries are received in the fortnight before the event. Therefore you should not be too worried if entries appear to be coming in slowly! You can encourage early entry by either having a good discount on the fee for early entry or a tough penalty for late entry.
It is no longer possible to include an entry form or tournament flyer with our newsletter, so producing a flyer may no longer be very useful. This could include the same information as on your website or just basic information pointing interested people to the website.
It may be worth taking some of your entry forms/flyers to other tournaments which take place shortly before your event.
You may also announce your tournament on the gotalk  email list. One announcement, about two or three weeks in advance of the tournament, is ample. Alternatively you could get our Webmaster to make a news announcement on the website and then forward the generated email to Gotalk. This will ensure that everyone receiving the RSS feed and Facebook subscribers also get your announcement.
You can also contact secretaries of other local clubs to announce the tournament on their club email lists, since not all of their members will necessarily be Association members, or subscribed to the Gotalk email list. Again, one announcement is ample.
Word of mouth is always an effective form of publicity, particularly for new tournaments. It is worth visiting local clubs (if you have any) and encouraging people to enter. In particular, you are likely to find several double figure kyus who would like to enter but who think they are "not strong enough for a tournament". This is of course incorrect – it is helpful to explain that there are likely to be other double figure kyus entering, and that most tournament systems allow for games between players of greatly differing strength. You can also consider a novices' tournament as a side-event.
There is a Facebook Page  which you can use to publicise your event directly.
If you live near a university, it may be worth contacting the editors of any student newpapers as universities are a fruitful source of new players, and many students do read these newspapers. Pictures of tournament scenes taken with a digital camera can be used to attract players
We feel that it is important to provide recognition to people who sponsor Go tournaments. If your tournament is receiving sponsorship then please inform us so that it can be mentioned on the calendar.
As of January 2014 we also provide a free facility for Tournament Organisers to take advance registration using a simple system on our website .
This will also provide a download file ready for Godraw, so that you can produce the first round draw more easily.
Note: we don't have any provision for taking payments in advance.
You should work out an approximate timetable for the rounds in advance. Make sure there is enough time between rounds – allow at least 20 minutes for any unexpectedly slow games or any difficulties with the draw.
Remember to take overtime periods into account; some players regularly play through several overtime periods of 30 stones in 5 minutes, and this could disrupt your schedule if you have tight time constraints. One way to prevent this is to use an accelerated overtime system e.g. 10/5 then 20/5 then 30/5, and so on, increasing the number of stones by 10 in each 5 minutes. If your main time is 60 minutes, then this gives you a class A tournament - very efficiently run!
Allow enough time for a lunch break (around an hour). If you are playing more than four rounds in a day, you might also consider a short break (say 30 minutes) during the afternoon to give people a chance to recover before the final rounds.
Some people will have trains or buses to catch, therefore you should publish an expected latest time for the prize-giving so that they can make plans. Make sure that you include enough slack in your timetable so that it is almost impossible to exceed this time!
You should try your utmost to start the first round on time, especially if you have severe time constraints in the hall booking. This usually means closing the register when you said you were going to close it, and get on with the draw. Late arrivals can play each other!
A schedule lasting from about 10.00 to 18.00 is common, and makes sense if either someone else will be needing the venue in the evening, or your event is on a Sunday so that people living far away can arrive the previous day and lodge somewhere overnight. But if your event is on a Saturday, it may make more sense to schedule your event for something like 11:30 to 20:00.
The usual way of allocating prizes for a McMahon event is to give the biggest prize for the best (as defined by the tiebreak system ) score, and further prizes for all those with at least some number of wins. You need not specify this number in advance, but can select it so as to ensure that you have enough prizes (you will have a bit more flexibility here if you set the komi to be odd integral so that jigo is possible). Even so, you cannot expect to predict exactly how many prizes will be needed, so you should arrange to have enough prizes to cater for the worst case. This means that you are likely to being taking some home again at the end of the event; so you should choose prize material that you wil be willing to buy back from the event and consume yourself – this is why bottles of wine are often used. Alternatively have something that can be used in subsequent years. When you have a rough idea of numbers, you can contact the Tournaments Committee email@example.com who will be able to supply a plausible prediction.
Special prizes can also be awarded to people who have done well without winning any of the other prizes, or to juniors. Some tournaments also have a team competition, and award prizes to the team with the best combined results in the main tournament; this can tend to make newcomers feel excluded, as they will see other players win a prize which they were not able to enter for.
Commonly awarded prizes are wine, chocolate or books (but do be careful not to award alcoholic prizes to children!). You may also want to buy a trophy (although many tournaments do not; it is difficult to get a Go themed trophy) or award a cash prize, if your budget allows it.
When deciding upon an entry fee, remember that the following expenses will have to be covered:
You should aim to make a small surplus on the tournament, which can go towards purchasing new books or equipment for your club. Note that there are usually several people who enter in the day or two before the tournament, or even who just turn up on the day. If you need to know numbers in advance (e.g. to make catering arrangements), it is therefore wise to set a closing date for entries and include a late entry fee, payable by those entering after the closing date.
Many events set their charges using
Look at other events to get an idea of the going rates. Obviously, it is reasonable to charge more for a two day event (to cover room hire and the Levy), or if you are providing food.
The Levy is a fee charged by us to cover services provided by us to your tournament. This includes public liability insurance, advertising, equipment hire and optionally online registrations in advance. As of 1st July 2012 the levy is:
Tournaments usually charge more to non-Association members in the entry fee; effectively, this gives them membership for the duration of your tournament. Any concessions are at the organiser's discretion, but the Concessionary categories for the Levy above are those defined for our membership, i.e. as of April 2012 Under-18, Under-26 Students in full-time education at an approved UK educational establishment, or receiving Unemployment, Disability or Pension Credit benefit (not simply in receipt of the State Pension).
For new events with uncertainty over the number of entrants, the Treasurer may consider reducing or waiving the levy in case of loss. Also if your event is longer than two days or experimental in some way, please contact the treasurer to request a discount.
The levies as listed are what the tournament organisers are obliged to pay to us, in return for providing equipment and services. You are not obliged to base your own entry fees on them. You may, for example, choose to admit non-Association members at the same rate as members, or to surcharge them £10; it is your decision, your only obligation is to send the listed amounts to the Treasurer.
If you think you may have problems in affording the Levy, you should discuss it with the Treasurer in advance of the tournament. He has the discretion to allow discounts in some circumstances.
The club that runs the tournament is the host and this section suggests some things that one may do as a good host to be welcoming to your entrants.
Many people travel to tournaments not just for the Go, but in order to meet and talk to other Go players. Also remember that some people may have travelled a long way to come to your event. A social event, for example going for a meal after the tournament, is one way to make your tournament more enjoyable and memorable for these people, and may help attract them back in future years.
Even for a one day event, there may be people who would like to travel and will require accommodation, particularly those in remote parts of the country which do not hold many local tournaments. Sometimes, local people are willing to offer accommodation (e.g. a spare room or a sofa) to those who would not otherwise be able to afford to attend (particularly students). However, people do not like to ask, so you should make it known (for example on the gotalk  mailing list) if such accommodation is available. Note that it is better to give priority to students and unemployed.
If you are organising a two day event (such as the Scottish Open or Welsh Open) there are some extra things you can do both to encourage people to come to the tournament, and to make the tournament more enjoyable. There are also some further organisational things you need to consider.
Apart from the three-stage British Championship and the London Open, which are run by the BGA, tournaments are run by clubs. The British Go Congress is run by a club on behalf of the BGA. The organiser is usually agreed a year in advance, and offers from clubs are always welcome.
The British Go Congress is a weekend event, including possibly a teaching session, the British Lightning championship on Friday evening, and the British Open. The weekend also features the AGM of the British Go Association. The British Open is a six round McMahon tournament, normally with one hour each on the clock. It is usually residential, with accommodation typically in halls of residence or a hotel. You may also let people find their own accommodation. Full board should normally be offered. As a rough guide, the 2007 British Go Congress in Cambridge attracted 98 entries, the 2008 in Hastings 50, and the 2009 in Chester 61.
A congress bank account should be opened, with two signatures required for withdrawals, as the amount of money handled can exceed £5000. The work can conveniently be split between one person responsible for accommodation and money, and one responsible for the tournament itself.
Since this is a large event, there is an associated financial risk. The club organising a Congress has two options: they can either take all the risk, and do whatever they wish with any profit; or have us underwrite the risk (against a documented budget approved by Council) in which case any profit is shared 50-50 between us and the organising club.
We want to encourage children and young people to take part in tournaments. When planning your tournament consider the following:
This chapter covers the running of a tournament on the day itself. Much of the work happens on the day, and it is therefore useful to find some local players who are willing to help with various tasks outlined below.
If you use our Registration system  download the Godraw file as late as possible.
If you don't then, when people have entered in advance, enter their names into the draw computer as they enter, and at the latest, the day before. It can take a surprisingly long time if you leave it until you are in a hurry! If someone has told you they might enter, still put them in the draw, just don't register them. It's better to waste 30 seconds the day before, than to risk spending 30 seconds on the day, when there's a long queue at the registration desk.
The day before the tournament, look at the EGF rating list , and ensure that the players are assigned their correct up-to-date entry grades. Of course, players may choose to enter at different grades; but if they accept the recommendation to enter at a grade as calculated from their GoR, it will help if you know what that is.
If you are doing a draw by hand, prepare the cards in advance, as described in section 3.3.2; and again, do this before the day of registration.
Set aside an area for a noticeboard (which you may call the "Information Centre"), where you can place the draw, results sheets, a summary of the rules (i.e. time limits, komi, etc). This should be where as many people as possible can see it at once, and where the crowd looking at it will not obstruct anything else.
Bring a cash float. You will need to have some change, as people will pay with £20 notes.
Bring a good supply of scrap paper, blu-tak, marker pens, sellotape and other stationery equipment.
On the morning of the tournament, you should make sure that visitors can find the venue easily, perhaps by placing signs directing them to the venue. It is also helpful if you can find volunteers to arrive early to lay out tables and boards (and, if applicable, the Bookshop). Each board should be labelled with a number. If there is more than one playing room, label the doors clearly with the numbers to be found in that room.
Set up a table for registration. You should have a list of the people you are expecting to register, including details such as name, grade, club and whether they have paid in advance (or how much their entry fee will be). You should confirm these details when they register, particularly their grade, as this could easily have changed between their entry and the tournament.
If people don't enter at the grade recommended by the GoR strength then there are a few things you need to bear in mind (see Ratings Policy  for more details.):
It is best to find a non-playing organiser, since the work involved in running a tournament is not confined to the time between rounds. A non-playing organiser is better able to deal with problems which might occur during games, such as broken clocks or running out of coffee or biscuits, or looking after a surprise visitor.
A few minutes after each round starts, you should ensure that all the clocks are running, even if one or both players are absent. Some people are reluctant to start the clock when their opponent is absent, so you should do it yourself, otherwise you risk running late!
You may find that you have an odd number of entries. Even if you start with an even number, some players may not wish to play in all rounds. As it is strongly recommended not to give any player a bye, you should have at least one player willing to act as a ghost, who will only play if required to make an even number. It is usual to let such a ghost play for free.
Alternatively, you may ask for volunteers, probably from your local club, who are each willing to drop out for one round if this makes the numbers even. Such volunteers should receive a discount on the entry fee. You will need at least one such ghost per round, preferably more in case one ghost becomes unable to play.
It is desirable, however, for there to be only one ghost and he/she not be above the McMahon bar.
The results of ghosts' games should be presented, and submitted to the rating system, in the usual way.
If the organiser has not run a tournament before, he/she should familiarize himself with whatever method she/he has chosen to do the draw – be it using a computer or manually with cards. He/she can usually receive assistance when he makes the draw, from one of the participants in the tournament; Association Officers are willing to help if asked. Chapter 4  gives a more detailed overview of the McMahon system used by many British tournaments.
Most tournaments nowadays use a computer to produce the draw, and most tournaments in Britain use Geoff Kaniuk's GoDraw program. Using this is recommended by us in particular because there will almost certainly be people at the tournament who can help with its operation. The program is also used to process tournament results for display on our web site and for submission of the results to the EGF for ratings. If you choose to use GoDraw, a donation to the Castledine-Barnes trust , a charitable trust providing financial support to young Go players in Britain, is encouraged, provided of course that the accounts still remain healthy.
Other programs are available, including OpenGotha, written by Luc Vannier, and MacMahon  [sic], written by Christophe Gerlach, both popular in Europe. GoDraw and these programs all handle McMahon, Swiss and Round-robin style tournaments.
Chapter 5  provides further details of good practice for using a computer to do the draw.
Although most tournaments use a computer, smaller events, or events with unusual pairing systems, may still prefer to do the draw by hand.
Each player is given an identifying number and has a card (e.g. a postcard) made out as shown to the right. The card is used to keep track of the player's current McMahon score, and other relevant details such as who they have played, which colour they took, and whether they were drawn up or down.
It will be useful to have a large table out of range of the "helpful" comments of the players for the purpose of laying out the cards to do the draw. Do not use paper as it blows away, but small pieces can be used stuck to a glass sheet with Blu-Tak.
The card illustrated in figure 3.1 is suitable for a six round tournament. Each box gives details of one round of the tournament. This player has played four rounds, losing in rounds one and three, and winning in rounds two and four, with a current MMS of -2. It is important for purposes of presentation of results that the players' identifying numbers should be in order of entry strength. This means that the numbers should not be allocated until the last possible moment (it can even be done as late as during the first round).
No two players should meet more than once, and, if possible, below the bar, players from the same club should not meet (except where either could win the tournament). It is also a good idea to ensure that players from the same family do not meet (even if they play in different clubs).
Results should be recorded on a wall chart as the tournament progresses, and a final set of results in similar format should be compiled for circulation afterwards. An example of a recommended format, as generated by Geoff Kaniuk's GoDraw  program, recommended by us, is shown below.
In this fictitious example, player no. 51 won in rounds 1 and 3 and lost in rounds 2 and 4, giving him a total of two wins, and increasing his McMahon score from -6 to -4.
Another example, of the recommended format for manual pairings is shown below. It should be easy to see at a glance how many games each player has won, and who his opponents have been. Here, player number 42 lost in round 1, won in rounds 2, 3 and 4, and scored a jigo in round 5.
|41||F. Baggins||4 kyu||The Shire||421||392||383||403||443||3|
|42||F. Prefect||4 kyu||Betelgeuse||410||441||432||393||373||3|
Players should be ordered according to their starting grades, and numbers must correspond with those on the cards used in making the draw.
In addition to this display (and even more important) is the draw sheet. This is a written list of players' pairings and board numbers for the current round. Conventionally the first player of each pair takes black. This list is to be used for the players to record their results on (by circling the winner's name). For larger tournaments, or for those who prefer a more streamlined system, a separate result slip can be provided for each game for each round, to be filled in and returned by the winner.
If you are using a computer program to do the draw, it is likely that the program can produce all of the necessary displays, including the draw sheet and wall chart, automatically.
A player who would qualify to win a tournament through our normal rules must have played every round in the tournament.
Players who miss rounds, but qualify for prizes, can still gain those at the discretion of the tournament organiser.
Some events run a tournament for novices alongside the main event. This is particularly worth considering if there are a lot of local players (especially from local schools) who are new to the game and would otherwise be reluctant to enter a tournament. There does not have to be a large turnout for this to be worthwhile; even as few as four makes it viable.
It is advisable to call it a "novices" tournament rather than a "beginners" tournament, as this makes it easier to get people who have been playing for a while to take part. In particular, juniors who have been playing for a few years and are in the 20-30 kyu range seem unhappy at the idea of being called a beginner ("novices" seems to be tolerated better).
It is good to be flexible about the format until you see who turns up. The general form is to hold a teaching session in the morning, covering the rules and some basic tactics such as capturing races and life and death, followed by a tournament in the afternoon.
For the tournament itself, things like board size, clocks etc. will depend on the players. In general most people at these grades do not need clocks. People who have hardly played before might find 13×13 to be quite big whereas someone near 20 kyu is likely to much prefer 13×13 to 9×9. Past events, e.g. the Novices Tournament at the 2005 Cambridge Trigantius, have had a wide range of players – the strongest had been playing online a bit and were probably slightly stronger than 20 kyu, the weakest weren't very sure of the basic rules. The games were a mixture of 9×9 and 13×13. There are usually some handicap games and it is good to try to arrange things so that nobody loses all their games if possible.
The best form of advertising for such an event is word of mouth – if people (especially at the local club) can encourage novice players that they know to come along it makes a big difference, especially as these players are often nervous about taking part. Any groups of juniors who are not too far away are also worth targetting. The sooner the event can be confirmed the better (and also it helps to have an explicit box on the entry form to say whether people want to enter the main or novices' event).
It is common to hold self pairing tournaments as side events. The idea is that players who finish their main tournament games early can play further games between rounds. These side events are usually played on smaller boards, or on a full size board with fast time limits. Usually there is a restriction that a player can play each opponent at most twice. The simplest method of choosing the winner is by number of wins, although other more complex formulae are possible.
All you need to do to hold such an event is make a wall chart, where participating players enter their names and fill in a running total of points (and opponent number) for each game they play, as illustrated below.
|No.||Name||rd. 1||rd. 2||rd. 3||rd. 4||rd. 5||total|
You should send the results to the Tournament Results coordinator (email to results at britgo.org) as soon as possible after the tournament. His preferred format is the output file from GoDraw, but if you have done the draw by hand, a copy of the draw sheets with results will do. Even if you have done the draw by hand, it is possible to use GoDraw to recreate the pairing after the tournament and then send in the file.
You should also send a short report to the Tournament Coordinator (email to tournament-coordinator at britgo.org) for the news web page, listing prize winners and anything else notable plus pictures too.
The Levy should be sent to the Treasurer using this form  to specify it and pay via the linked Payment page . Arrangements should be made for our sets to reach the next tournament. Written letters of thanks should be sent to any sponsors, including the owners of premises used.
Most British Go tournaments use the McMahon system, which is designed to ensure that games in a tournament are most likely to be even. Each player in the tournament starts off with a McMahon score (or "MMS") that corresponds to his grade. For example, a 4-kyu player starts at -4, and a 1-dan player starts at 0 (there is no 0-dan!). Each win for a player increases his MMS by one, and the winner is the player with the highest MMS at the end of the tournament.
The draw program (or human organiser) attempts to pair players with the same MMS against each other. This has the effect that, if a player enters at the wrong grade, her MMS will gradually come closer to that of players of her own strength. For example, if a player declares too high a grade, he is less likely to win, and so his MMS will stay the same while other players' scores rise – until finally the player meets those of roughly the same strength.
A functional description of the system can be seen here .
Because a player's starting score is determined by their grade, a player who was 7 dan would have a massive advantage and the best chance to win the tournament, as such a player would start with a very high MMS. To counteract this, and to give as many people as possible an equal chance of winning the tournament, players at or above a certain rank all begin at the same MMS. This rank is called the McMahon bar. For example, if the bar is set at 3 dan (which is an MMS of 2) then no player can start at an MMS of more than 2, no matter what his or her grade: 3-dans, and all players stronger than 3-dan, also start with an MMS of 2, and are said to start "above the bar". The position for the bar is the one which gives the right number of players above it to try to ensure there is a unique winner. This in turn depends on the number of rounds to be played. BGA recommended guidelines are as follows:
|3 rounds||4-8 players|
|4 rounds||5-10 players|
|5 rounds||6-12 players|
|6 rounds||7-15 players|
|7 rounds||8-18 players|
|8 rounds||9-22 players|
|9 rounds||10-26 players|
|10 rounds||11-30 players|
The constraints on which these figures are based are
If you are using Geoff Kaniuk's GoDraw to create the draw, it will automatically set the bar according to the above table.
In effect the top players play a Swiss to determine the winner, so there should not be more than 8 players above the bar for a 3 round or 16 players for a 4 round tournament.
(Note: In some larger European tournaments, there is a supergroup, which is one or more points above the McMahon bar. This is used where there would otherwise be too many 4-dan players above the McMahon bar.)
Although the McMahon system decreases the chances of uneven games, they still occur, especially where there is a large range of entry grades. The handicap in the McMahon system is normally one less than the current difference in the players' McMahon scores, with a handicap of 1 meaning a no-komi game. If there is no handicap, colours are selected (more or less) at random. Therefore, a player may end up taking White even against someone on a McMahon score one better than them. It is normal to try to organise the draw so that, as far as possible, players play an equal number of games as each colour.
If either player declared a grade at or above the bar, then the game must be even.
It is not a requirement that the handicap be one less than the McMahon difference; it is normal in Europe to use difference-2, and some tournaments use the difference directly. You may specify what you choose. If you don't want to think about it, specify "McMahon difference minus 1".
A player who misses a round (with the tournament director's consent) sleeps for that round. For the purpose of producing the pairing, a sleeping player is deemed to have achieved an average score for each round missed. In order to prevent biassing the draw by pairing players who sleep, an extra McMahon point is awarded after every two rounds missed. This score increase does not count as a win.
In more important tournaments, players in the top McMahon group (or Supergroup if there is one) are not allowed to sleep for any round. Sleeping players who would be in the top group are removed by reducing their initial McMahon score by one or possibly two points. This prevents the lower group players from interfering with top group players in later rounds.
If a player wins by default (usually because their opponent fails to show up), their MMS is increased by one. This counts as a win for the purposes of the tournament, but not for the purposes of the EGF rating system. It is not counted as a missed round for either player. (A win by default should not be entered as a normal win, as we do not want the EGF rating system treating it as a win.)
At the end of the tournament, the winner is the player with the highest McMahon score.
There may be a tie for first place (and it is very likely that there will be ties for other positions). You may consider that this does not matter, and there is no problem with sharing the first prize. This is your decision. However it is usual to want a single winner, and to ensure this, a tie-breaking system should be decided and stated before the tournament. It may consist of just one of the tie breaks listed below, but the chance of breaking a tis is greater if several tie breaks are used, in a specified order of precedence.
Some sensible options for a tie-breaking system are list below. If you don't want to think about it, just specify the first of these.
Possible tie breaks include:
This is the most commonly used tie break in the UK.
If two players start off on the same McMahon score, and end up with the same CUSS (having played all games) then their CUSP will also be the same. This follows since at any round McMahon score is equal to initial McMahon score plus winning points up to that round. So one cannot sensibly use both CUSS and CUSP as first and second level tie-breakers. CUSP is easy to calculate by hand and is therefore recommended for use as the tie-breaker in small tournaments.
You should decide in advance what to do in case there is still a tie, as even these tie breakers are not necessarily enough to separate players. For most tournaments, it is reasonable for first place to be shared. For more important tournaments, such as the Challenger's League, a play-off game is used.
This chapter provides guidelines for people who have undertaken the responsibility of producing the pairing for a tournament. Although a draw can be produced manually, it is now usual to use a computer.
This is for a good reason. Although the McMahon rules are apparently easy to state as described in Chapter 4 , the more formal details get far more complex. So much so, that it is virtually impossible for a human to produce a pairing which satisfies all the rules in a reasonable time.
Accordingly, these guidelines cover the use of computers in producing the draw. There is no discussion of any particular program, instead we seek to uncover principles of good practice, be it for a manual or computer draw.
The information in this chapter is primarily aimed at larger tournaments such as the London Open, or the British Go Congress, but the principles of good practice apply to all tournaments. In smaller tournaments, it may be the case that one person plays the rôles of Tournament Director, Drawmaster, Referee and assistant.
Since it is the Drawmaster's responsibility to produce the pairing for each round on time, he or she should be closely involved in setting the playing times for the tournament. There are three good reasons why it is important to produce the pairing on time:
Two of the most common reasons why schedules slip are inadequate planning for registration on the day, and very slow play by some top players using excessive byoyomi/overtime periods. Therefore the schedule needs to be designed to take into account the vagaries in these areas. Registration is discussed in more detail below, but for now it should be emphasised that once one has decided on a schedule, then every possible effort should be made to stick to it. In particular this means having a clear policy on how to handle late arrivals, and publishing that policy in your tournament literature. You will also need to have formulated a policy on how to deal with slow play holding up the draw for the next round. Players get disgruntled if they appear to be hanging about for no obvious reason.
The schedule specifies starting times in detail for each of the tournament phases, and the Drawmaster needs to be sure that all the times announced are realistic. This needs to be done before the tournament publicity is produced.
It is the Drawmaster's responsibility to ensure that the correct details for a player are used in constructing the draw. Registration systems vary from the simplest "give me a call" to sophisticated on-line database systems which can produce a registration file for you to import. Whatever the system, the Drawmaster has to ensure that the correct data is used in the draw system. In particular no player should be entered twice, and every effort should be made to use the correct spelling for player's names.
In theory the source of all data for the system is the entry form, so the Drawmaster must approve this form at the time that the tournament publicity becomes visible to players.
The Drawmaster works under pressure in order to produce the draw on time. If you are lucky enough to have your own physical room, then well and good. If not then you must make arrangements to clearly identify your workspace in a shared environment. This can be done by suitably arranging furniture, or judiciously employing a ball of red string to mark your territory.
Apart from space for your equipment and a chair, you should arrange the space for a chair to accommodate an assistant to help with result entry.
Without doubt one of the most complex aspects of running a tournament is managing registration on the day the tournament starts. It is at registration that player's details finally get verified, and so the Drawmaster is exceedingly involved in this process. In large tournaments, registration may also involve booking players into accommodation. Consequently the requirements of the draw need to be integrated with any other such matters in your registration system.
Whether you are processing incoming players by pencil and paper or using a network of terminals there are two questions that need to be answered when setting up your registration scheme.
Given the answers to these, you can allocate sufficient resources to register players in the time quoted in your tournament publicity. Players do get rightly annoyed if they arrive in good time for registration only to find that the start of Round 1 is hours late because queues have built up at an inadequately manned registration desk.
It is even more important than it seems to get each player registered fast. Some players, if kept waiting for more than two minutes, will want to compensate for their wasted time by getting value for money when they eventually get to the front of the queue, by chatting to the registrar about the traffic they have come through, the weather, who else has registered, etc. So there is a positive feedback effect in how long the queue is.
There will always be some players who arrive on the day out of a clear blue sky. Such players should be diverted to a late desk and be required to fill in a registration form before returning to the main registration queue.
If at registration a player changes some detail vital to the draw, then it is essential that such changes be written down and communicated to the Drawmaster. Registration details may also change later during the tournament as players realise their names or clubs are wrongly spelled for example. It seems simplest if all the changes that players need to make are written on exactly the same form so that players get to know the one and only way of communicating changes to the Drawmaster. It is even better if the form is a slip of paper in an alarming pink colour so that it won't be missed.
At the start of the registration session, the Drawmaster publishes the register so that players can check their details and see what their friends are doing. The Drawmaster is now kept busy updating the draw system with player's changes communicated via the pink slips. These slips are described in greater detail in section 5.6.
Players are marked in the system as "registered" as soon as the information reaches the Drawmaster that they have actually arrived. You cannot rely on hearsay reports that someone is on the way; you can only register someone if you have actually seen the colour of their eyes!
Once all players are registered, you are ready to close the register at the appointed time.
The formal close of registration is a terribly important moment in the life of any tournament. At this point the full set of players joining Round 1 is known, and this triggers the following actions from you:
If you have some spare ghosts, you may be tempted to insert them in the draw as far as possible, while keeping the number even. Don't. There are all kinds of mistakes which can occur, and will only be detected after the draw has been published and play has begun – for example, the same player may have got registered twice (with different name spellings), so he will be drawn against two different opponents (or against himself). You will need a spare ghost to sort out such things.
Once these matters have been completed to satisfaction, it is a good idea to publish the latest version of the register so that players can check their details. You are now ready to produce the pairing for the first round.
The register should be published in the Information Centre, which is space set aside for displaying all the important documents such as the rank list, tournament rules, latest schedule, prize money, and the register. You should keep this area clear of player messages and other tournament information – it is meant for the main tournament!
If a player wants to change some details then writing changes on the register is not going to get noticed. A player may try to tell an organiser that he is skipping the next round while the organiser is busy with lunch arrangements – the message just gets lost. The only safe way is to instigate a clear formal system which is really easy to operate perhaps along the following lines:
Place a register change box below the published register. Next to this place a pile of printed pink slips with the following information to be filled in by the player:
Next to the register, publish instructions to players to mark their changes on the slips, and then place the slips in the box. As Drawmaster your only task now is to make sure you process the slips shortly before you do the draw for the next round.
Once the draw for round 1 is produced, you will need to double check the following:
Note that if you are using GoDraw, you will be able to prevent critical same club or same family pairings by setting up a group of players who never play each other.
Once these issues are settled, you should now publish the draw, but do not let players start their games yet. Nearly all the problems with the draw will be discovered in the first 5 minutes.
The draw should be published in well separated sections to avoid overcrowding. If your tournament takes place in several rooms then place a selected copy of the draw inside the room. In later rounds players will get to know which room they are in, and avoid the mele around the main publication of the draw. Some things to avoid are:
You can fix the hopefully few problems with the draw manually, by making notes on the published pairing. Try very hard not to redo the draw, once some players have seen it and learned which boards they are to play. When you are satisfied with its accuracy, instruct the referee to start the clocks. If you have published several copies of the draw, remove any redundant ones and leave only a master for recording the results. Once you have done all this, and ensured that the clock is going for each board, then you have time for a well earned break.
When all games are completed, collect the draw sheets, now containing the results filled in by the players. If there is a referee, you can assign him the duty of ensuring that players do not wander off without recording a result. But even if you do, you will find that some of them get away and your result sheet is incomplete long after all the games have finished. Rather than delay the schedule, you should assign both players a loss, publish a list of missing results, and get on with the draw for the next round. When the winner of a game finds he has been assigned a loss, you should apologise, but point out that getting the draw done is a priority, and that it is the duty of the winner to record the result. You can manually assign him the missing point for his win, but he may have been drawn against a weaker opponent than he would otherwise have had.
In large tournaments, players may be required to complete and sign a form with their results, and in this case again you should receive the forms all duly signed. You will then need to order the forms in the correct board order as published in the draw.
Whichever method is used, you should confirm the result by physically writing a 1 next to the winner and a 0 next to the loser. Players can be very sloppy when marking results by ringing or underlining the winner so it is necessary to make this information precise. You can use an unusual colour of pen for this, so it is clear which marks on the results sheet were put there by players, and which are your interpretations.
Now get an assistant to read to you the results for Black in board order in groups of 5 (this assumes that you are using GoDraw). You can then enter these into the computer with a low error rate. When all the results have been entered, return to the beginning. Now you read out the results for White again in groups of 5 and your assistant confirms that the correct result has been entered. This double check is vital as you are not easily forgiven for recording a wrong result.
Once the results are confirmed as correct, print out the rank list and display it in your information centre. You are then almost ready to do the draw for the next round.
Before you do the draw, you must check your box of pink slips. Update your register, mark the pink slips as done, and put them in a "done" box for reference. Now do the draw!
Once the final round is completed, with all results entered and cross checked, publish a prize list for the tournament director. Publish a final ranklist for the players to look at (you may even print out spare copies they can take with them and read on the journey home). You will also need to produce files for the ratings system, and for your webmaster. Make sure you have a copy of the tournament file on disk or memory stick, then pack up.
There are many tournament systems that can be used in place of McMahon. Some of them are listed here, in approximate order of usefulness. You may use any that you like; but if you have no strong preferences, we recommend that you just use McMahon. If you use a system other than McMahon, then this must be published in the literature.
Any of these systems can be played with or without handicaps. If handicaps are used, then the method of determining the handicap should be specified. For example "MMS-2" is often used in Europe and "Grade difference -1" is sometimes used in Swiss tournaments here.
Appendix D  has two useful tables specifying handicaps and komi for running small-board handicap tournaments.
This is best for 4, 6 or 8 players with number of rounds 1 less than the player count. Players are seated opposite each other at a long table for round 1. One player is the pivot and remains seated whilst the others circulate clockwise at each round. Appendix D  has a useful result sheet and table diagram for running round-robin tournaments.
All players start equal, and in each round players with the same number of wins play each other.
This is the ideal system for an even game tournament in which there are too many players for an all-play-all. Details of organisation are exactly as for the McMahon system described in sections 4 and 5. (The McMahon system can be thought of as a generalised Swiss system, or the Swiss thought of as a McMahon with everyone starting above the bar.)
Ties at the end of the tournament can be resolved either by Sum of Opponents' Scores (SOS) or by Cumulative Sum of Wins (CUSP). Neither of these methods is completely satisfactory, and playoff games should be used for important places if time permits.
The idea here is that nobody is eliminated; after each round players with exactly the same sequence of results are matched together.
This system ensures that everybody gets plenty of games against roughly equal opposition, and can be used to arrange all the players in order, though ordering is pretty arbitrary, especially around the middle of the list.
The usual ordering system is to give the losing finalist 2nd place, the losing semi-finalists 3rd and 4th, the losing quarter-finalists 5th to 8th etc., but this method puts a high premium on winning early – in a 32 player tournament the player placed 8th has won 2 out of 5 games, while those placed 9th and 17th have 4 out of 5.
All players play Swiss except the top 8 or 16 who play a knockout to determine the winner; the losers return to the Swiss section. This is best if the non-knockout part of the event uses handicaps.
This is one of the easiest types of tournament to organise, but you do need 2 N players for a tournament with N rounds. The advantages are that it produces a unique winner in the smallest possible number of games, and that games in each round can be started as soon as the players have finished their previous game. There are various disadvantages:
For a knockout tournament, the seeding system is particularly important. It is probably best to seed them so that if they win all their early games, the eight strongest players can all reach the quarter-finals, the four strongest the semifinals, and the two strongest the finals.
Appendix D  has a sheets for running 8- and 16-player knock-out tournaments.
You need an even number of teams each with the same number of players. Teams meet only once.
If there are only two teams, say A and B, the pairing can become messy if you are not systematic. The following method was devised by Mr S Niwa of the Nippon Club.
For round 1, seat players on a long table with all team members of the same team on the same side, and playing the same colour. From round 2 on team A remains fixed. The players of team B shufffle down 1 place, and the player who drops off the far end of the table cycles round to board 1. The teams as a whole swap colours each round.
For more than two teams you should play all teams against each other. Since teams meet only once, players can be paired as you like at each round.
Various rules of Go are used around the world. The particular set of rules used generally does not affect how the game is played. We have a summary of the most important rules differences , with links to deeper studies of them.
In Britain, the Japanese rules have traditionally been used. Use of the 1989 version of the rules  could give rise to problems, so in 2006 it was decided to adopt AGA-style rules  as our default rule set for tournaments.
If the organisers of a Go tournament in Britain, recognised by us, do not specify otherwise, then the AGA-style rules as specified in RULES OF PLAY  apply.
Black gives White 7½ points Komi (under traditional Japanese rules, the Komi was 6 or 6½ points).
Triple kos and other such repeated positions are prevented by a "Superko" rule: It is illegal for a player to play so as to recreate a board position of the game, previously created by a play of the same player. (Under our previous rules, repeating the board position led to a jigo.)
Japanese professional games traditionally use the byoyomi system. When a player has only a few minutes left the seconds are counted down, and any move made in less than a minute does not use up any of that player’s time.
In Britain we use the Canadian Overtime system instead. When a player has used all of their main time allocation (typically one hour), they go into overtime. Overtime is made up of an unlimited number of overtime periods.
In each overtime period the player must play a specified number of moves within a specified time period. This number is established by counting out 'overtime stones' from the player's bowl and making these clearly visible to the opponent. The overtime periods might be five minutes in which to play thirty stones.
A move consists of placing a stone on an intersection and removing any consequent captures, or passing, and then pressing the clock. Note that the clock is not stopped for capturing a large number of stones. When passing, an overtime stone should be given to the opponent. A player who fails to play all the overtime stones within the overtime period loses the game on time. The loss is immediate - the opponent does not need to 'claim' a win.
Once all the overtime stones have been played, the clock is stopped. A fresh set of overtime stones is counted out and the clock is reset to the overtime period. Then the clock is restarted.
The above tasks are shared: while one player counts the stones, the other is resetting the clock. Stones should be counted promptly, and whilst the clock is stopped neither player should be analysing the game.
In most tournaments, each overtime period will be identical, with the same number of stones to be played in the same interval. For example, twenty stones in five minutes abbreviated by 20/5 is often used in longer games. In many tournaments the overtime is 30/5 and players can quite happily continue for many overtime periods!
If your tournament is time-critical, i.e. you need to pack up by a given time, you may consider using an accelerated system instead. For example 10/5, then 20/5, then 30/5, then 40/5, and so on, increasing by 10 stones each period.
The overtime period critically affects the tournament class as summarised in our ratings  policy. If you had a main time of 65 minutes and accelerated overtime of 20/5, 40/5, 60/5 increasing by 20 stones each period, the tournament would qualify for class A rating.
A player who arrives late by more than half the main time allowance loses the game by forfeit. The player's opponent gets a free win, and this counts for prizes and pairing, but does not count for rating points.
There are two interpretations to late:
You would use late by start of round if you had a tight time schedule. If you do use late by start of clock then be aware that in the extreme case Black could arrive 29 minutes late for a 60 minute game and then White could arrive a further 29 minutes late. The game would effectively start when other games had been going for an hour!
Any dispute by a player in either their own game or in another game must be communicated to the referee as soon as possible and in any case before the results of the game are published.
On-lookers are strongly discouraged from making any comments of any kind about a game in progress. If there is a suspected rule violation, then this should be brought to the attention of the referee, and should never be discussed with the players.
The following is a real press release written by Toby Manning. Obviously it needs to be adapted if it is to be used in your area, but it is worthwhile trying this. In 2000, a press release similar to this got the tournament into three local papers.
Note that this release was sent out after the event. Obviously, if you wish the papers to take photos, etc, you need to send a release beforehand, inviting photographers at such and such a time.
Fifty-eight enthusiasts descended on Ingleton last weekend to play Go, Japan's national board game. The event was the Ninth Three Peaks Tournament, held in memory of Tim Hazelden, who had been a keen player until his untimely death in a road accident in 1995. Tim had been a joint landlord of the Marton Arms, where the Tournament was held.
Winner of the Tournament was Tim Hunt, 28, who designs Software for the Open University. The runner up was Alastair Wall, from London. Also with 4 wins were Mike Cumpstey and Martin Harvey from Manchester Go Club, Mark Collinson from Hull, Ron Bell from Reading, Michael Pickles from York and Stephen Streater from Epsom.
The event raised £100 for the Tim Hazelden Fund to support the fabric of St. Oswald's church in Thornton in Lonsdale.
Go is a board game of pure skill played between 2 people. Its largest following is in the Orient (Japan, Korea and China) although there are keen groups of players in most countries in the world. In Britain the British Go Association runs around 20 tournaments each year around the country, of which the Three Peaks Tournament is one.
The entry of 58 is a record for the Three Peaks Tournament, surpassing the 52 in 1999 and 2000. As well as local players from Preston, Lancaster, Leeds, York and Bradford, people came from all round the country including London, Cambridge, Birmingham, Manchester, Edinburgh and the Isle of Man.
Further information is available at the British Go Association Web Site, http://www.britgo.org/, and details of the tournament at http://www.ptmfa.freeserve.co.uk/3peaks.
This organiser's toolbag gathers in one place much of the hard information you need to run your tournament. Some of it provides useful documents that you can download and print for display.
|Rules of Play ||The unabridged set of rules, mainly for referees.|
|Rules Guide ||One page listing the differences from our old rules.|
|Rules Summary ||A two page summary of the Rules of Play document.|
|Equivalence Theorem ||A therotical study of the rule changes.|
The absolute minimum that should be pinned to a wall somewhere is a single sheet listing the day's schedule, and another sheet stating your tournament rules. We also have a definitive statement on how the overtime system should work. Documents for the latter two can be downloaded.
|Default Tournament Rules ||Details suggested rules from the Tournament Organisers' Handbook .|
|Tournament rules template (.txt) ||Import this pure text file into your favourite word processor and modify to suit.|
|Tournament rules template (.rtf) ||This is the same template including our logo|
|Canadian overtime ||Provides a clear, printable explanation of the Canadian overtime system.|
Specifies the McMahon pairing system.
|McMahon Pairing ||The detailed authoritative version.|
|McMahon in a Nutshell ||An easy to read summary, but misses out some features.|
Over the course of a year there usually are some improvements to the program, but these are now minor. However the list of players loaded by the program changes nightly and you should always download it before you start entering players in order to get the latest accurate details about your entrants. The list of club codes is useful if you examine the E.G.D database; there you get club codes, not names.
|GoDraw ||Download if your version is not quite up to date.|
|Manual ||Definitely worth a read if you are new to GoDraw, as it contains a quick tour section to get you started.|
|Players List ||Updated nightly, this file is read whenever you run GoDraw and provides the latest list of player details.|
|Club Codes ||Changes infrequently and just lists the codes assigned to clubs as used by E.G.D.|
Tournament organisers need ratings information to help players get a fair draw by entering at a realistic grade. The ratings system we use is actually spread over quite a large number of documents. The ultimate authority for EGF ratings data is E.G.D. , but here we list information and useful tools that are used to construct our ratings.
|Ratings policy ||Specifies how we use the ratings sytem, and how we rate players from servers.|
|Tournament Class ||This specifies the rules for determining the tournament class.|
|Playing Strength ||These are the playing strengths that should be used by players entering our tournaments.|
|Rating Calculator ||Provides an easy to use tool for calculating ratings provided you know opponents' ratings.|
Handicaps on smaller boards also require a variable komi. The following tables cover up to 29 stones grade difference and in the column 'Komi to White' a negative komi is the points White gives to Black in addition to any handicap stones.
|9 x 9 Handicap Table ||13 x 13 Handicap Table |
Here are downloads for diagrams showing 8 and 16 player knockout results as well as round robin results useable for 4,6, or 8 players.
|8 player Knockout Tree ||8 player knockout results over 3 rounds.|
|16 player Knockout Tree ||16 player knockout results over 4 rounds.|
|All Play All ||Pairing diagram and results for 4,6, or 8 player all-play-all.|
To help you stay on top of your tournament planning, Edwin Brady has prepared a check-list . It is a two page document which you are encouraged to print out and stick on your wall at the time you start thinking about organising a tournament.
You can then tick off the tasks as they get done - and in so doing, reap the reward of knowing that you are going to have a successful event. For in the end your tournament success is built on the careful planning of the event before the day!
Yes anyone can. Though it is best if you have some experience of go events or running other events. You should probably have attended one or two go tournaments to see how they usually work.
Look at our calendar . Preferably look for a vacant weekend, as there are fewer than 52 events per year, and look for a date that is not too close to the date of another event in your area.
Send your proposed date to our Tournament Coordinator (tournament-coordinator at britgo.org), to check it is acceptable, and get it reserved. It can be marked as provisional at first if you are not too sure to start with.
Yes, Section 2  of this handbook tells you a lot about setting up and running a tournament.
Yes, Section 2  of this handbook tells you about the various tournament systems you could consider. The most common is a Three Round McMahon system  event on a single day, though varying from this could make your event unique and more interesting.
You will need to do the local organisation; such as finding the venue, organising refreshments, and accepting entries, but we can usually find someone to run the draw for you if you are inexperienced in running tournaments.
Yes, we can provide a laptop computer and printer, together with the GoDraw  program by Geoff Kaniuk. It will also usually provide help in running the program. Contact Geoff to arrange its use (draw-program at britgo.org).
Our Online Registration system  will take entries in advance and can then produce a file for Godraw.
There is an Excel spreadsheet available, produced by Ian Marsh, to help control registration and payments, which can run on your own computer. GoDraw now has a spreadsheet interface to load the tournament data.
A mobile phone used to travel with the computer, but nowadays most people have a mobile phone, so advertise yours or that of another organiser so that it can be used on the day to receive notification of late or cancelled entries.
You will need to produce the entry form and web page of information, but these are easily copied from existing examples. We will then list the event on our calendar , upload and link to the entry form as a PDF file, and link to or host the web page. This is explained in more detail in Section 2.4  of this handbook.
Yes, if you send your entry form to the Tournament Coordinator (tournament-coordinator at britgo.org), he will produce a web page for you on our site and potentially use our Registration system. It can link to local information pages and map pages.
No, You don't, but if you want to distribute your own copies, for example at events before yours, then you will have to print some yourself. [We no longer have a printed newsletter which you can send out your entry forms with.]
We can provide up to 100 Go sets, boards and mechanical clocks for your event to use. Some of these are superior sets which are normally only used for special events. The normal tournament sets come in multiples of 12 (some loads have 15 clocks to cover for breakdowns).
Usually volunteers transport sets from one event to the next. This is arranged through the Coordinator (tournament-coordinator at britgo.org). Clearly it may be more reliable and helpful if you collect some sets from the previous event.
Usually a guess at attendance can be made from attendance at similar events. The Tournament Coordinator will then ensure sufficient sets for this number will be available. Usually you can increase the number you require, up to the night before the event, but early notice of increase is appreciated. Of course you need half as many sets as players.
In general, Yes, since it's up to you to decide what the budget is and how much to charge. However, for new events with uncertainty over the number of entrants, the Treasurer (treasurer at britgo.org) may on request reduce or waive the levy in case of loss. Also if your event is longer than two days or experimental in some way, please contact the Treasurer to request a discount. Please talk to the Treasurer in advance of the event, preferably before you've set the entry fees.
If agreed in advance we will often underwrite  the costs of unused hotel or university bedrooms at important events, in return for half the profits.
Usually you can get a guide of going rates from other events. If you charge too much fewer people will come. You will have to decide whether to provide and charge for food or drinks, or not, as the food or drinks element can make the event seem more expensive.
Most events provide reductions for children, students, unwaged or elderly, or even someone's first tournament. You will have to decide how this would effect your budget and number of attendees. The Levy you pay us is reduced for some concessionary classes anyway. It will help your accounting if your concessionary classes are the same as ours, but you don't have to.
The rate for the Levy is set so that you will pay more for players who aren't a member of the Association and who also aren't a member of their national Go Association, e.g. the Nihon Kiin for Japanese players or the Deutsche Go Bund for German players. You should keep track of these, but you don't have to charge more for these players, but it may be easier for you to do so (and give them an incentive for joining us).
There is a sample press release  you can copy from. If you get a report published in the media, then please send a copy to the Tournament Coordinator for the archives.
See the Organisers’ Material page  for more on resources available.
We have a Bookseller with limited stocks who may come to your tournament. Please contact him  for more details.
Make sure the web news editor (web-news-editor at britgo.org) gets a report of your event, including a list of prize winners, number of players and other interesting information on the event, so that you will get a write-up of your tournament into his BGJ tournaments column and the news pages  on this web site. If you have any interesting photos from the event you may also supply these for the web or for publication in the British Go Journal.
If you have used the GoDraw  program (version 6 or later) then you can get results to the web and the EGF ratings system easily by simply emailing your tournament file to the results officer . You will normally find the file in c:\GodrawSys\Tours and it will normally have a name including the year like MiltonKeynes_05.gdt for example. The full path to the file is also displayed on the title bar of the running program.
When you do send the file it is important to include peripheral data such as location, komi, and time limits as these are needed for the ratings system. If you have new people entering the tournament as No Club, it is helpful for purposes of identification to state their nearest town.
This is always nice to help with publicity, prizes etc. We don't have any particular policy for this or, regrettably, contacts.
However, we feel that it is important to provide recognition to people who sponsor Go tournaments. If your tournament is receiving sponsorship then please inform us so that it can be mentioned on the calendar.
See page Section 2.4  of this handbook for more on selecting dates, reporting results, getting publicity and so on.
You are encouraged to join the bga-policy mailing list  as we will discuss any potential changes that might affect tournament organisers on this mailing list.