British Championships Rules Summary

The Rules of the British Go Championships are the definitive reference.

For those of you who do not have time to read all of the rules and just want to know how to win, here is a brief summary:

To start with, if you want to be British Go Champion, you have to be "British". We take that to mean that either you are eligible to hold a British passport, or that you will have lived in this country for five years. Then, since the British Go Association goes to the effort of running the Championship, all competitors have to be paid-up members of the Association.

Once you have dealt with these requirements you will have to play some Go. In fact you need to plan ahead a little bit because to win next year's Championship you must qualify this (calendar) year. You can qualify from any of the many tournaments that take place around Europe each year (provided that they are rated on the European rating system). All you need is to play the entire event (that is not to drop out early or just ghost the odd round) and end the event with 1900 or higher. Please note that deliberately entering an event at too high a grade just to get a 1900 rating will not be tolerated.

The British Championship proper comprises two tournaments. First you must win through the Candidates' Tournament. The event is announced in Upcoming Tournaments and also the electronic Newsletter. It is held on the first May bank holiday weekend. All the players who qualified in the year to 31st March play in a six round Swiss-style tournament. If you finish in the top two places in this tournament you will advance to the title match.

So now you are in the title match. This is the last hurdle but the biggest. A best of three or five series of games against the other winner from the League. Each player has "Fischer time" of 100 minutes + 45 seconds/move (the equivalent of about three hours on the clock) for each game. These are some of the longest time limits in any European competition.

Good luck! You only have to win about 7 games of Go from start to finish of the process. What is so difficult about that?

Of course there is more to the Championship than winning. After all, only one person can win each year, but lots of other players take part, play some serious Go, enjoy themselves, and aim to achieve what they themselves consider success.

History of Changes

These rules were amended for the 2020 Championship to remove the Challengers' League stage.

In 2008 AGA Rules were adopted.

Until 2006 the Champion did not need to play the Challengers' League and also some of the best players did not play the Candidates'. Since 2000 qualifying was based on the number of wins at certain levels in British tournaments, rather than achieved rating after events as in the new system.

For reference, some old versions of the rules and pages detailing changes have been preserved:

Last updated Fri Mar 13 2020. If you have any comments, please email the webmaster on web-master AT britgo DOT org.