43rd London Open Go Congress 2016

28th - 31st December 2016
International Students House
229 Great Portland Street
London W1W 5PN

Main tournament first prize £250 (approx €280)

First "below the bar" £100 (approx €110)

Lightning 1st prize £60 (approx €70)

Pair Go 1st prize £60 (approx €70)

Best performing player 10 kyu or weaker on registration £30 (approx €35)

The David Ward Cup, in memory of the long term organiser of this tournament, will be awarded to the best placed British player, together with a £50 prize.

Cătălin Țăranu, 5p will provide teaching and game analysis for tournament participants.


Formal entry begins at midday on 28th December, however you should register now if you know you are coming.


The venue, ISH, is located in central London (map). They reserve a certain amount of accommodation for tournament participants (and those accompanying them). However, the venue is popular at this time of year so, if you are planning to stay there, early booking is advisable. Please read the accommodation booking procedure.

From abroad

London is served by many airports and Eurostar. Entering the UK is usually automatic for European Union nationals. For the rest of the world you can find the necessary information here. You might find that a letter of sponsorship or explanation from the British Go Association will help your application. To request such a letter please email us. In all cases early application for a visa is advisable.

Getting around

London travel information may be found here with any changes here. The tube and bus network is fully functioning during the tournament, but buses don't accept cash and cash fares on the tube are expensive. The best thing to do is get a Visitor Oyster Card in advance.

Most mainline train operators will run reduced services on holidays, but note that engineering work affects some lines and there are no fast trains from Heathrow to Paddington until 30th, nor Gatwick Express trains to Victoria during the holiday period, and buses replace trains to Stansted Airport at the New Year. From Heathrow take the tube (Piccadilly Line) or take a slow train from Gatwick Airport.

Travel by car is not recommended as on-street parking is expensive. There is a little parking at ISH, which is both chargeable and has to be pre-booked.


Tuesday 27 18:00
- 22:00
 Organisers available
for arrivals from abroad
in the Portland room.
Wednesday 2812:00
- 14:00
14:15 Opening Ceremony
14:30Round 1
18:30 Round 2
Thursday 2910:00Round 3
14:15Round 4
18:30 Lecture
19:15 Pair Go
Friday 30 10:00 Round 5
14:15Round 6
18:30 Lecture
19:15 Lightning
Saturday 31 10:00 Round 7
13:30 Pack up
14:00 Game Commentary
14:30 Closing Ceremony
15:15 Rengo Tournament
19:30 New Year’s Eve Meal
22:00 Games and drinks

After the closing ceremony, we will have a Rengo tournament for those who are staying for the New Year celebrations.

On 31st December, to celebrate the lead up to New Year, we reserve a table from 7pm for 30 covers at a local Italian restaurant. To reserve a place in advance please email us. If sufficient early interest is shown we will adjust our booking.


There is no separate entry fee to the Lightning or Pair Go Tournaments. These are included in the main entry fee:

Entry Fee Full Student Junior (Under 18)
Early bird (Registration on or before 1st November) £35 £25 £15
Standard £46 £35 £24
Late (Registration after 21st December) £50 £39 £28
Day rate (before 1 Nov) £13 £10 £6
Surcharge £10 if you are not a member of your national Go Association. This non-member surcharge is waived if this is your first Go tournament within Europe.

Payment is in pounds Sterling on the first day of attendance before play (may be by cash or credit/debit card). We will also accept euro cash at a rate of 1.2 euro = 1£.


Prizes will be awarded as follows:

Category 1st place 2nd place 3rd place
Main £250 £100 £50
Below the Bar £100 £50 £20
10 kyu or weaker on registration £30 £15 £5

This year we are also offering prizes for the Lightning Tournament: 1st £60, 2nd £30 and Pair Go: 1st team £60, 2nd £30

Award Certificates will be awarded to anyone with four wins or more.


Please use our Registration system to enter. If you're uncertain whether your entry has been accepted, just check our list of Pre-registered Players.

If you have problems using the Registration system, then please send an email including your name, strength, country, club and email address to us

Our Tournament Registration system currently only handles those attending for the full four days. If you wish to enter for only a selected number of days, please email us.

Formal entry begins at midday on 28th December. However pre-registration helps us and is cheaper for you. If too many of you do not pre-register then we may not have enough Go sets for you to play on!

If you do not wish your name and grade to appear in the online list of players you must indicate this when you register. If you wish your name to be removed from the online list after submitting your registration then email us.

We ask you to enter using your grade. This helps us plan the tournament, but is not necessarily used for the draw, which will use your EGD rating (GoR). See below for how we set your initial McMahon Score. If you are not sure about your grade - particularly how any grade you might have could relate to European Grades - then please give us your best guess, and dicsuss the position at Registration.


The London Open is conducted according to British Go Association Rules, broadly as follows:

Playing time 90 minutes if either player is 19 kyu or stronger, 60 minutes otherwise
Canadian Overtime 20 moves in 5 minutes
Komi 7½ points
Handicap McMahon difference - 1 (where required)

Players are required to be familiar with the Canadian Overtime Procedure (pdf).


Your initial McMahon score (MMS) will be set from your GoR as published on the date of the tournament. If you do not have a GoR you might be required to provide other evidence of your strength. Your initial MMS determines who you will play in the first round.

If you do not think your GoR is accurate (for example, you are a quickly improving kyu player who hasn't played in any recent tournaments) please email us.


If you want to get an idea about the event, before deciding to come, please take a look here where you will find reports, results and photo galleries from the 2012 London Open and the London Pair Go.


When you have entered you may find the Info Flyer useful to keep with you during your visit.

The tournament is receiving support from Google Deep Mind, the Central London Go Club, the Nippon Club and the British Go Association.


Pentangle Puzzles and Games are providing a book stall with a large selection of titles available.

David Ward Cup

The David Ward Cup and endowment has been generously donated to the British Go Association by Helen Ward, his widow, in memory of the long-time President of the Central London Go Club and organiser of this tournament.


ISH offers accommodation on site in single, twin and multi-bedded rooms. Tournament participants will be entitled to a discount. Quieter single and double rooms are available at the Mary Trevellan Hall (MTH) which is an annex to the main ISH site situated about a 10 minutes walk away. Ask to be placed in MTH if you wish for peace on New Year’s Eve.

Enquiries should go to ISH (not us) by email or telephone (+44 20 7631 8310) mentioning you are a participant in the Go tournament. While you can use their booking system using an modern browser (old browsers may fail), it will not be able to identify you as a tournament participant so you will not receive the discount.

Price band Rates for Go Congress participants Published Rack Rate from 1st September 2016
Single Room £45 £50.00
Twin Room £33.30 £37.00
Single En-suite £52.50 £58.00
Twin En-suite £37.80 £42.00
Dormitories £24.50 £25.00
All rates are per person per night, and include a voucher worth £3.30 towards breakfast and free wi-fi.

Other off-site accommodation can be found from a number of websites including airbnb, homestay, Wake Up London, London Town or Visit Britain.

Last updated Fri May 05 2017. If you have any comments, please email the webmaster on web-master AT britgo DOT org.