41st London Open Go Congress: 2014

28th December 2014 to 31st December 2014, International Students House


Note: Please carefully read the accommodation booking procedure if you are planning to stay at ISH.

In-seong Hwang, 7d, will be on hand to provide teaching and game analysis for tournament participants.

The London Open is held at the International Students House (ISH), 229 Great Portland Street, London, W1W 5PN very near to Regent’s Park. In association with Park Crescent Conference Centre well furnished playing facilities are provided, as well as low cost accommodation in a variety of formats. The congress takes place mainly in their very large Theatre. Players (and even their family!) are able to stay on site and enjoy all the facilities provided including bar, internet access and restaurant.

Please note that registration starts at 12:00 on 28th December, allowing players to travel on the first morning of the tournament.

Please note there is no smoking anywhere in the building.


The map shows how to find the venue which is in the centre of London, right next door to Great Portland Street station between Baker Street and King’s Cross on the Circle, Metropolitan, and Hammersmith & City lines. It is also adjacent to Regent’s Park and near to Warren Street underground stations.

Please see the Transport for London website for advice on travelling during the festive period. For changes to London tube service check with TfL.

On one hand you will be able to take a crisp walk in Regent’s Park, and on the other you can be in the hustle and bustle of Oxford Street shopping within a 10 minute walk.

Travel by car is not recommended as on-street parking is expensive and there is only limited parking at ISH which is chargeable and has to be pre-booked. Note that none of the tournament days are bank holidays, but the congestion charge does not normally apply at New Year period (ISH is just outside the zone anyway).


Saturday 27 18:00 - 22:00  Organisers available for arrivals from abroad in the Portland room.
Sunday 28 12:00 - 14:00 Registration
14:15 Opening Ceremony
14:30Round 1
18:30 Round 2
Monday 29 10:00Round 3
14:15Round 4
18:30 Lecture
19:00 Pair Go
Tuesday 30 10:00 Round 5
14:15Round 6
18:30 Lecture
19:00 Lightning
Wednesday 31 10:00 Round 7
14:00 Packup
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. There will also be an evening meal arranged at a local venue on 31st December to celebrate the lead up to New Year.


If you want to get a feel of the event before deciding to come please take a look at the 2013 tournament report and photo galleries from the 2012 London Open and the London Pair Go.


The top three places will receive prizes of £150, £100 and £50, plus other prizes. There will naturally be prizes for the Lightning and Pair Go Tournaments.

The tournament is receiving support from the Nippon Club, the Anglo-Korean Society, the Central London Go Club, the British Go Association and other sponsors.


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 (Payment on or before 1st October) £40 £35 £20
Standard £47 £42 £27
Late (After 15th December) £55 £50 £35
Surcharge £10 if you are not a member your national Go Association

We will expect you to pay in pounds Sterling at registration (cash or credit/debit card).

If you only want to play for one or two days then discounted rates apply - £10 per day for Junior players or £15 per day for other players plus the £10 surcharge if you're not a member of your national Go Association.


The International Students House offers accommodation on site in single, twin, triple, 4 bedded, and multi-bedded rooms. Players staying for the period of the congress will be entitled to a special discounted rates. Current (undiscounted) rates per-person-per-night are from £22 in a multi-bed dormitory to £52 in a single room with bathroom.

Tournament organisers have stayed in the accommodation. It is simple, clean, and functional. There are toilet and shower facilities on each floor of the building.

The London Open has reserved beds at ISH, but you are warned that there is a huge demand at ISH on New Year’s Eve because of their big party. If you leave your booking till shortly before the tournament, you may find that all the accommodation at ISH is fully booked!

Quieter single and double rooms are available at the Mary Trevellan Hall 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!

Any player entering the London Open should book accommodation directly through ISH by emailing the accommodation department. State the room type you want, clearly specify your date of arrival and date of departure, and state that you are booking accommodation for the ‘Go Tournament’ in order to obtain the discount on room prices. The accommodation department will respond with instructions on how to pay to complete your booking. Your credit card (Visa, Master Card, Switch, Solo, Maestro) will be accepted as deposit. If you do not hear from them within 2 working days, please phone ISH on 020-7631-8310 (+44 20 7631 8310).

You can book online at ISH's website, but you won't receive the London Open discount.

If you do not wish to stay at ISH, alternative (but more expensive) accommodation may be found on the web, for example through http://www.wakeuplondon.co.uk/, or http://www.londontown.com/, or http://www.visitbritain.com/.

Please note that once you have booked your room at ISH, you still need to enter the London Open.
Pre-registration and booking at ISH are entirely separate procedures!


You will soon be able to enter via the ONLINE ENTRY FORM. Every entry will receive an immediate automatic email response. Please ensure that you use a valid address as otherwise you will not be able to receive a confirmation! If you do not get a confirmation, and you are sure it is not sitting in your spam box, then please email our organisers with a valid reply address!

If you fail to contact them by email, please contact the BGA directly.

If you have any problems during the congress, contact Jenny Radcliffe: 07789 724501.

If you wish your name and grade not to appear in the online list of players you must indicate this in your online entry. If you wish your name to be removed after submitting your entry, please the organisers.

You are expected to enter using your EGF rank, if you have one. This helps us plan the tournament, but is not necessarily used for the draw. See below for how we set your initial McMahon Score.


The London Open will be using official British Go Association Rules - please see Rules of Play for fine details. The tournament rules are:

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)

NOTE: All players are required to be familiar with the Canadian Overtime procedure:
If your main time flag falls:

  1. Count 20 stones from the bowl.
  2. Close the bowl.
  3. Reset the clock to 5 minutes.
  4. Play all 20 stones before the flag falls.
  5. When all your stones are finished, repeat the above steps, starting with 1.

If your flag falls when you are in overtime, you lose.

When your opponent is in overtime, it is considered good sportsmanlike behaviour for you to reset the clock while your opponent is counting the stones.


By default, your initial McMahon score (MMS) will be set from your European Go Rating (GoR) after your last pre-London tournament, which may be different to the grade you entered at. This is to even out discrepancies between different countries' rating systems, and so avoid very uneven games. Your initial McMahon score determines who you will play in the first round. See http://senseis.xmp.net/?McMahonPairing for more information.

If you have never played in a tournament before, we will use the grade you give us when registering to estimate your GoR. Otherwise, you can find your GoR by visiting the European Go Database at http://www.europeangodatabase.eu/EGD/Find_Player.php. In the 'Find Player' screen, type in your name, and click on your 'Pin Player' when it comes up. This will take you to your player card. Your GoR is shown in the box on the right; the corresponding EGF grade is given in brackets. This GoR value is how your MMS will be determined (not the 'rank' shown on the left, or your entry grade).

If you do not think your GoR is accurate – if, for example, you are a quickly improving kyu player who hasn't played in any recent tournaments – please state this in the Notes box on your entry form, or contact the organisers.


Entering the UK is usually automatic for European nationals, although if you are from outside the original EEC you should check the rules. European nationals should carry a European Health Insurance Card card at all times for free emergency health cover (in most cases). Please note that this is not a substitute for travel insurance.

For the rest of the world the laws about visiting the UK are complex, and will depend on your country of origin and the length of your stay. The necessary information can be found at http://www.ukba.homeoffice.gov.uk/visas-immigration/visiting/. There is a special scheme for Chinese nationals visiting in a group of 5 or more: see the ADS agreement.

You may find that a letter of sponsorship or explanation from the British Go Association will help your application. To request a letter of sponsorship please contact the organisers.

90% of applications for general visitors' visas are decided within 3 weeks, and 98% within 6 weeks. However, the process can theoretically take up to 12 weeks, so you are advised to apply as soon as possible.

Last updated Fri Aug 29 2014. If you have any comments, please email the webmaster on web-master AT britgo DOT org.