British Go Journal No. 41. May 1978. Page 12.

Wimmer, Kerwin, Make Professional Shodan

Manfred Wimmer, of Austria, who has been studying Go in Japan for several years, has become the first Western player to be accepted as a professional player. He began playing in the Kansai Ki-in Oteai (rating tournament,) and the newspaper tournaments this March.

He played on examination game with Tono 9 dan, taking 2 stones, and lost by 3 points. This is considered on adequate result for a shodan professional against a 9 Dan, though he will be expected to justify his promotion by his performance in the Oteai.

Hot on Wimmer's heels, James Kerwin, of America, has been accepted by the Nihon Ki-in as a probationary shodan. Kerwin has also been studying in Japan, and they will both be more aware than we can be of the problems of playing at a professional level. We congratulate them, and wish them every good fortune in the months to come. Wimmer is reported to be the stronger. Time will tell. (Readers unfamiliar with the Japanese professional ratings may like to know that a professional shodan can give at least seven stones handicap to on amateur shodan. The top professionals, by playing aggressively, can give seven stones to an amateur 3 dan.)

100 dan celebration party

The total British 'dan count' has passed the magic figure of 100 - see the complete list at the end of this article. To celebrate, a dinner party was held on Saturday 13th May, attended by 18 players, including most of the strongest British players. Mrs. Barrs, widow of John Barrs who founded Go in Britain and started the BGA, was guest of honour. It was fitting that he was remembered on this occasion.

Many thanks to Brian Castledine and John Tilley who were responsible for the idea and the organisation.

A new post: Archivist

Keith Rapley is the first official BGA Archivist. Anyone with information about Go, especially historical information, is invited to contact him, at: address omitted.

Leicester Go 'teach-in'

The BGA in collaboration with the Leicester Go Club are organising a one day teach-in for players wishing to improve.Although aimed mainly at middle-kyu players, special provision will be made for newcomers to the game. The programme will include films, lectures, simultaneous displays, demonstration games and game analyses. Instruction will be given by dan players nominated by the BGA.

The teach-in will be held on Sunday 11th June at the Leicester Area Sports and Social Club. The closing date for entries is 6th June, and late entries will be subject to an additional fee of £l.

BGA: AGM Report

The BGA Annual General Meeting was held during the British Go Congress on 8th April. 56 members were present. The Treasurer reported a surplus of 183 for 1977. The Secretary reported that membership for 1977 had totalled 991, compared with 984 in 1976. The number of clubs and the proportion of members in clubs had slightly increased.

The President reported that 197/78 had been a year of flux with all the Officers now resigning for personal reasons. Several other posts also changed hands and new activities included the institution of on Archivist, and the preparation of a major onslaught on schools, though progress on this had been slow.

A lengthy discussion of the Associations static and possibly declining membership ensued.

Brian Castledine was elected unopposed as President. Sharon Cohen was elected as Treasurer (by 29 votes to Dave Johnson's 25,) in the Associations first ever contested election for an Officer. Matthew Macfadyen was elected unopposed as Secretary. From eight candidates for the five ordinary Committee posts those elected were:- D.Mitchell (55 votes), B.Philp (50), D.Johnson (49), T. Manning (44) and R.Hunter (30).

The Constitution was amended to allow the division of the Secretary's work between D.Hunter las non-Committee Membership Secretary,) and the newly elected Hen. Secretary.

The subscription rates for 1979 (effective from October 1978) were agreed as:- Club Junior (16 years or under on 1/1/79): £0.50; Club Student: £0.70; Unattached Member: £2.50; Unattached Junior; £1.00; Club Member: £1.50; Overseas Member: £3.00.

The meeting agreed to recommend the Committee to discontinue the Ansaphone Service.

The meeting recommended that Derek Hunter be elected a Vice-President of the Association. A Vote of Thanks was extended to the Congress organisers.

Trigantius (Cambridge) tournament

The tournament was held this year at the Graduate Centre on the banks of the Cam, on the 1lth March, and attracted a strong entry of 82 players. K.Matsumoto 4 dan won the top division with 3 wins from the 3 rounds. Other players with 3 wins were J.McLeod 1 dan, M.Hirasawa 6 kyu, G.Adie 8 kyu, J.Boddy 10 kyu, J.Dabson 10 kyu, G.Barwood 12 kyu, V. Haynes 15 kyu, P.Patel 15 kyu and J.Perrott 20 kyu. Congratulations to these players and many thanks to the organisers.

British lightning tournament

The tournament, orgonised by the Oxford Go Club, was played on Saturday 4th March. The new British Lightning Go Champion is Matthew Macfadyen 5 dan, of Reading. The runner up was T. Mark Hall 2 dan, LGC.

The winner of Division ii was Phil Gregory (Oxford University), the runner up, Kim Richardson (also Oxford).

The joint winners of Division iii were J.Hillcote (Bristol) and B.Taylor (Bristol).

Many thanks to Harry Fearnley who organised so efficiently.

Tournament diary

Details omitted.


The BGA Grading Sub-Committee have promoted J Diamond to 6 dan; P Prescott and M Macfadyen to 5 dan; and D Jones and T Stacey to 1 dan.

Readers may observe that the first three named are in fact members of the the Grading Sub-Committee; this fact has caused a certain amount of comment, but their action, without reference to the main Committee, is entirely within their terms of reference.

Dan Grading List

  • 6 dan: J Diamond
  • 5 dan: A Goddard, M Macfadyen, P Prescott
  • 4 dan: D Mitchell
  • 3 dan: J Bates, B Castledine, A Daly, S Dowsey, F May, R Moss, A Pirani
  • 2 dan: B Chandler, C Clement, P Fage, J Fairbairn, TM Hall, M Hollinger, C Matthews, F Roads, AP Stout, D Sutton, J Tilley, D Wells
  • 1 dan: J Allen, S Bailey, J Barty, L Bock, J Clare, J Cock, A Cooper, P Dunn, S Fawthrop, H Fearnley, T Goodey, W Gregory, A Hall, H Harte, J Hawdon, R Hitchens, D Hunter, C Irving, D Jones, P Manning, J McLeod, T Mizuno, T Oxenham, T Parker, M Roberts, A Scarff, P Smith, R Smith, T Stacey, N Symes, N Webber

This list adds up to 101 dan - a landmark in British Go. John Barrs became the first British shodan in 1962, followed by Jon Diamond and Colin Irving, both promoted in 1965. The grand total reached 20 dan in 1971, 50 dan in 1975 and 75 dan in 1977.


This article is from the British Go Journal Issue 41
which is one of a series of back issues now available on the web.

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