Oxford Go Tournament: 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, who have also got a news item, detailing prize-winners, etc.

Organised by Oxford Student Go Society, with the help of Oxford City Go Club, and the support of the British Go Association.

We are very grateful to St Edmund Hall, Oxford for, yet again, providing us with such a magnificent venue.

Our Sponsors are, as usual, Hoyle's Games, High Street, Oxford, with extra Youth prizes, sponsored by Go Games on Disk (GoGoD, Go Database, & Encyclopaedia), and (new this year) Smart Go (Software for the Game of Go).

Not played in a Go tournament before?

If you have not played in a Go tournament before, you may find some of the details below unclear/confusing. Do not worry – it is simpler than it seems. There is some general advice to people going to their first tournament. But, in any case please feel free to contact the organiser with any questions, and ask for help/advice on the day itself.

Spectators Welcome – see Format for schedule details


Registration – see below

Free Entry Draw

Tournament organisers appreciate those who enter early, so ...
... if you are prepared to have your entry published in the list of entrants, you will get a chance to enter the tournament for free. If you enter on, or before, December 23rd 2012, you will get 50 tickets in the draw. On December 24th, 49 tickets, and so on, until Monday February 11th 2013, when you will get only one ticket. All tickets will be entered into a draw. The single winner will get free entry and tea/coffee & biscuits, but no free brunch!


Saturday, 16th February 2013


In 2012 we were the second largest UK Go Tournament – beaten only by the London Open (the only British Grand Prix tournament). We had 87 players, ranging from beginner (40 Kyu) to 5 Dan, predominantly from the South of England. Their ages ranged from 7 to 65+, with 8 players being Under-18s, and a sufficiency of over-50s. The average (median) playing strength was 5 Kyu, with 18 Dan-level players, and 20 players 15-40 Kyu. We expect to have similar numbers in 2013.

Thanks to Nick Wedd, you can now see a list of those "good people" who have already registered!


The tournament will, as usual, be in the centre of Oxford, at St Edmund Hall, one of the oldest and prettier of the Oxford colleges. The address is:
St Edmund Hall
Queens Lane

Smoking is not allowed anywhere on College grounds!

Getting there; Parking

The College provides travel information with details of how to get there by road & rail, together with some maps. You may like this useful map (in PDF format) of all of central Oxford, showing the College, Bus & Rail stations, etc.

Car parking nearby is not practicable, so car drivers are strongly advised to use the Oxford Park-and-Ride system, and find their way to the adjacent Queen's Lane bus stops, in the High Street.

There are specialised maps of Oxford from Daily Information, and information on the expensive Council-run car parks. The nearest Council car park is St Clement's – follow the link on the page above. Forget Free (long-term) Parking in Oxford! The nearest place which does not have restrictions (except lack of space!) is at least 15 minutes walk from the venue – to the South-East of the venue, along the Iffley Road, either to the South of Iffley Road, or anywhere to the East of Magdalen Road – check for yourself! On Iffley Road, the No 3 bus runs every 8-10 minutes, and takes less than 10 minutes to get to the "Queen's Lane" bus stop on High Street.

The college is about 15 minutes walk from the bus station, and about 20 minutes walk from the train station. If you have any further questions about travel to/from the tournament, please contact the tournament organiser (details at the bottom of this page), rather than the college.

Here is Google maps (with Streetview) – St Edmund Hall is 20 metres up Queen's Lane, on the right-hand side:

View Larger Map

... and here are some other interactive maps:


There will be a Main Tournament, and an extra, optional, Novices Tournament, to be held in parallel.

Main Tournament

The Main tournament will be a normal 3 round McMahon tournament, with a main time limit of 50 minutes, plus Canadian overtime of 30 stones in 5 minutes. The schedule is as follows:

9:00 - 9:45 Registration
9:50 - 10:00 Announcements in Main Hall
10:00 - 12:15First Round
12:59 - 1:00Announcements in Main Hall
1:00 - 3:00Second Round
3:13 - 3:15Announcements in Main Hall
3:15 - 5:30Third Round
5:45 - 6:00Prizegiving, in the Pontigny Room
6.05Assemble for 6.25 Supper (Optional)

Komi for this event will be 7.5 points.

The rules are the BGA Official Tournament rules of play (8 page PDF). There is a 2-page AGA Rules Summary, and a single-page Short Guide.

The top 5 prizes will once again be provided by our generous sponsor, Hoyle's, who are providing the Shop.

The Novices Tournament

15+ kyu players can also choose to play extra games ...

In 2012, we had 20 players with strengths from 15-40 kyu, of whom 18 played in the Novices Tournament.

There are extra prizes for players in this tournament, but there is no extra charge for taking part!

We hope to build on the success of this format, following its success in both 2011, and 2012. The tournament is designed for weaker players who usually do not need as much time, and often finish their games early. Most games can be played on smaller boards. In both 2011, and 2012, some players clocked up an extra 10+ games!

Players – with strengths ranging from 15 kyu to complete beginner – will take part, in the normal way, in Rounds 1, 2, and 3 of the Main Tournament. All Main Tournament games are played on a 19x19 board. In any time left over after each round of the Main Tournament, you can play as many extra (Novices Tournament) games as you want. These games may be played on 9x9, or 13x13, as well as 19x19. We recommend smaller boards – more games, and so more likely to win a prize!

You play self-paired games against anyone else who has time available. Because we have to work to a tight schedule, in these extra games there will be no overtime (if your flag falls first, you lose!). The maximum time allowed must be less than the time left to the start of the next round of the Main Tournament. To qualify for prizes, the minimum clock time will be 15 minutes each.

The prizes in the Novices Tournament, are independent of, and in addition to, normal prizes in the Main Tournament. Prize – winners will have won more games (max 3), and played more games (no limit!)


Tea and coffee, with biscuits, will be freely available throughout the day.

Brunch will be available in St. Edmund Hall from 10:30 to 12:30 for a (very reasonable) cost of £3.50. You must obtain a ticket in advance. Warning – these tickets will be limited to the first 56 applicants! This is a pick-and-mix cooked breakfast. This might include cereal, yoghurt, and/or fruit. Although the ticket does allow choice, it does not include one of everything! Items above the budgeted total can be paid for by you. Please let us know when you register if you'd like a brunch ticket. Alternatively, there are plenty of cafes, pubs, and sandwich shops within a few minutes walk of the tournament. Alternatively, you are welcome to bring your own food.


The cost for the event is:

"Normal" (BGA member, or overseas Go Association):£7.00
Concessions (student, senior, unwaged, etc.): £5.00
Non-[BGA/overseas] members (Adults):£3.00 extra, or join the BGA!
Late Entry (after 12th February 2013):£3.00 extra
Brunch (optional):£3.50
Financial Support for Under-18s: maybe possible – please arrange independently with the Castledine-Barnes Trust.


If you feel that you had an amazing, and cheap, day out; want to thank all the volunteers who made it possible, or for any other reason, ... please consider making a donation to the Castledine-Barnes Trust. The Trust supports Youth Go in Britain. To save you the effort, we will be happy to collect together donations at the Tournament, and pass them on to the Trust.

Registration – see below


Our sponsors, Hoyle's, who have their boardgames shop just across High Street from the College, will be running a stall. They will be selling a wide range of books and equipment, at BGA-discounted prices. If you place an order at the tournament, or very shortly afterwards, you should get a substantial discount.


There will be a limited amount of accommodation available on both Friday (15th Feb 2013), and Saturday (16th Feb 2013) nights. We expect to have several beds (double & single), as well as some floor space. Preference will be given to those coming from furthest away, and then to those who "book" early. You should tell us what you want using the online booking form.

Warning: you will not have fully reserved accommodation, unless you have received a written confirmation by email from your own host! As well as filling in the online form, we suggest that you send a separate email, to discuss your needs, to the organiser – see below.

Team Competition/Prize

There will be a Team Prize. Teams consist of groups of 3, or more, players – maybe from the same club, or family; "people called Chris"; whatever! Clubs are allowed only one team. [For mathematicians/logicians] Only one team per player! "Captains": you must register all members of your team before Round 1. Qualifying games are from the Main Tournament only. Before the start of Round 3, each team captain must tell the organiser of all games played between members of their team – these games will be ignored. The prize will be awarded to the team with the highest win percentage. In the event of a draw, the winner will be decided by standings after Round 2, and if that is not decisive then standings after Round 1, and if that fails the prize will be shared equally between those then remaining in contention.


  • Again, our chief sponsor is Hoyle's Games, High Street, Oxford – a minute's walk from the venue! They also have an online shop, well-stocked with Go books, and equipment. Hoyle's are sponsoring 5 of the prizes in the Main tournament.
  • This year, for the first time, we are also being sponsored by Anders Kierulf of Smart Go (Software for the Game of Go). They are giving us 2 copies of their SmartGo Kifu App for iPad/iPhone/iPod Touch, which (as well as being a game-player, pro-game database with pattern-search and guess-next-move, editor, etc) has an amazing feature which automatically converts any commented SGF game-record to a book, with interactive diagrams – write your own book! They are also donating a dozen copies of their Go-playing SmartGo Player App for iPad/iPhone/iPod Touch. Unfortunately, for technical reasons, it was not possible for them to donate books for their Free SmartGo Books App (already 50+ titles, and much better than a Kindle book!).
  • John Fairbairn, and T Mark Hall – authors of Go Games on Disk (GoGoD, Go Database, & Encyclopaedia) – have again offered us two of their DVDs for Windows PCs, containing not only 75,000 Professional SGF game-records (searchable with pattern-matching in Kombilo), many articles, 12 books (includes Charles Matthews' Shape Up, and an earlier version of John Fairbairn's Go Consultants – one of the best books in the English language), etc, etc, but also the oft-ignored Go Scorer program for PCs, which is a great way to help you memorize games. Some of this material has now been extended, and published in book form by Slate and Shell (some also electronically as SmartGo books for iPad/iPhone/iPod Touch), and, in electronic form only, for Kindle – mainly about Honinbo Shuei.


If you are (say) a 15-35 kyu, aged 17, and play well, you could end up not only with a gift, but with up to 3+ prizes – best Under 18, and prizes from both the Main, and the Novices, tournaments, in addition to your (small) share of a team prize!

There will be prizes for the following:

Main Tournament

These prizes will be as credit notes to be spent, on the day (or perhaps shortly thereafter), at the Hoyle's stall, and be awarded to those with 3 wins in the Main Tournament. If you have bought something from them before the prize-giving, you will be able to get the appropriate cash refund. Five of these prizes have been donated by Hoyle's games, High Street, Oxford.

Novices Tournament

In addition to any prizes in this section, all participants in the Novices Tournament will receive small Go-related gifts. Prizes are additional to any prizes awarded in the Main tournament, and are awarded to successful players whose strength is in the range 15 kyu to beginner. Prizes will encourage those who play the most games, and win some of them!

Youth Prizes

In 2012 there were 8 players aged under 18, all of whom managed to win a prize. In 2013, the competition will be greater.

Our sponsors have donated two Go Games on Disk GoGoD Encyclopaedia, and Database DVDs, as well as two copies of the SmartGo Kifu App for iPad/iPhone, and 12 copies of the SmartGo Player App for iPad/iPhone.

There will also be a choice of other/alternative prizes for the under-18s.

How old?

Your "qualifying age" will be your age at September 1st 2012.

Under 18

These prizes are additional to those in the Main, and Novices, Tournaments. Eligible games will be only those played in the Main tournament. If any extra games are played in the Novices Tournament, they will not affect eligibility for under-18 prizes.

Under 15

These prizes are additional to those in the Main, and Novices Tournaments. However, no winner of an Under 18 prize may win an Under 15 prize. Eligible games will be only those played in the Main tournament.

Under 12

These prizes are additional to those in the Main, and Novices, Tournaments. However, no winner of an Under 18, or Under 15, prize may win an under 12 prize. Eligible games will be only those played in the Main tournament.

Under 9

These prizes are additional to those in the Main, and Novices, Tournaments. However, no winner of an Under 18, Under 15, or Under 12, prize may win an under 9 prize. Eligible games will be only those played in the Main tournament.

Registration – How to Enter

To register for the tournament, please fill in the online form (opens in separate window/tab). Using the online form is a great help to the organisers.
Register by February 12th 2013 to avoid paying the late registration surcharge – thank you. We do not accept payment in advance; all payment, preferably in cash, must be made on the day. Assuming that we are not already fully booked, it is possible to register on the day, but then you will also incur the £3.00 late entry fee.

Limited Numbers

We can probably not have more than 96 participants, since the venue is not large enough. Last year we had 87. The first 96 registrants will have a guaranteed place, while all later registrants will be placed on a reserves list, in the order in which they registered. You can see how many are already registered – check the list of registrants. If you are worried, contact the organiser, and you will be told if you have had to be placed on the reserves list. Assuming that you have given us a valid email address, you will be notified if/when there is a cancellation, and will be asked to confirm that you still want to enter.


If you have registered, but later find that you cannot come, please let us know ASAP. This is very important, as it will help free up a place for someone else.


When you register online, and assuming that you have supplied a valid email address, we will immediately send you a confirmatory email. In addition, you can always (wait hours/days, and ...) check the list of registrants to see that your details are correctly recorded.


There is a one-page PDF poster advertising the tournament, which contains the most important information.

Contact Information

For more information contact:

Organiser: Harry Fearnley (on behalf of Tom Baker)
Email: oxfordgotournament@gmail.com, or, on the day itself, only: BGA Mobile: 07506 555 366
Phone (Harry Fearnley): 01865 248775 – N.B. I prefer email. On the day itself, do not use this number, but the BGA Mobile, instead.

Last updated Tue May 09 2017. If you have any comments, please email the webmaster on web-master AT britgo DOT org.