Oxford City Go Club

We play the oriental board game Go – Japanese: 囲碁 (いご / Igo), Chinese: 围棋/ 圍棋(WéiQí [Wei-Ch'i]), Korean: 바둑 (Baduk/Paduk).


Oxford Go - 牛津围棋

Oxford City    
Go Club    

    Oxford Go - 牛津围棋


Are you new to the Club? New to Go? If so, we welcome new members, and visitors, and we can teach you. If you need help/advice, then please feel free to contact the Club Secretary before joining us. :-)

The student Go club – Oxford University Go Society – meets during term-time – see their FaceBook page, or another one!

If you need further help/advice, then please send an email to harryfearnley@gmail.comZZZ (please remove "ZZZ").

Visitors, and spectators are always welcome, as are complete beginners – we provide free teaching.

Check meeting schedule for late changes!

There is information on some past events.



When we meet

We meet throughout the year. Our regular meetings are face-to-face on Tuesday evenings (6.30-11.00 pm, UK time). By arrangement, we can provide a Zoom session for those unable to attend in person, and who want to play on OGS, via our club page there. We will notify cancellations/ changes below, and via the oxgo email list.

Recently, we successfully held a few Sunday afternoon (2.00-5.00, or 3.30-6.30 pm) meetings, intended primarily for the club's younger players. We hope to repeat this occasionally -- perhaps every 3, or 4, weeks, or so. All arrangements will be via the "oxgo" mailing list.


There are no cancellations planned in the near future.

Please feel free to check the details with Harry Fearnley by telephone, or email (see below). Please note: The best way to get up-to-date information about availability is to join the oxgo email list. Emergency/ last-minute changes may not get to this web-site in time!

Who meets

When we meet there are usually about four to ten players – since COVID-19 attendance has been somewhat thinner. The regular players range in strength from 2 dan to 20+ kyu, but we often have beginners, and occasionally players as strong as 6 dan, or -- exceptionallly -- even 7 dan+ level players.

Visitors, of all strengths, are very welcome, as are spectators. Complete beginners who have never played, are very welcome – we will provide free teaching.

Contact information

The club secretary is:
Harry Fearnley:
Email: harryfearnley@gmail.comZZZ (sorry - remove "ZZZ" from email address)
38 Henley Street
location: http://w3w.co/punk.cats.gifts
Tel: +44 1865 248775
Home Page: bestiaries - studies on seki, etc.

Our videos

We have recorded some review/teaching material using Zoom. After much work, Gerry Gavigan (LGC), has then turned these into polished products, and put them onto the London Go Centre (LGC) YouTube channel. Remember to SUBSCRIBE to their channel. :-)

The scroll in the title sequence, reads 牛津 围棋 = niújīn (literally "ox ford") wéiqí ("surrounding game" - i.e. Go)

Our third video – a 9-stone teaching game reviewed by Zonglun Li

A 9-stone teaching game with Li Zonglun, 4D. The student is Aymeric Vié, with additional discussion by Harry Fearnley.

If you like this video, then do check out the London Go Centre (LGC) YouTube channel who host this, and many other Go videos. We thank the LGC, particularly Gerry Gavigan, whose idea it was, and who did all the hard work of editing it.

If you like this video, or others on the LGC channel, then please SUBSCRIBE to the LGC YouTube channel. :-)

Our second video – Direction of play, with LI Zonglun

A 12-miinute video: LI Zonglun (3 dan) looks at the direction of play in a game by two kyu players (9 kyu/ 10kyu). We also thank the Gerry Gavigan (LGC), whose idea it was, and who did all the editing.

Like this video? Then check out the London Go Centre (LGC) YouTube channel who have many other Go videos. Why not SUBSCRIBE?

Our first video – a game review, by Ondřej Kruml

Here is the Oxford Go Clubs' first video – from a Zoom recording of a review of a teaching game (5 dan vs 1 kyu).The game had lots of fighting.

Ondřej Kruml (5 dan, based in Czechia – email him for lessons) plays against Harry Fearnley (1 kyu, Oxford). Here, we show what follows – mainly a discussion between the two players, backed up by analyses from KataGo, and with questions/ kibbitzes from the other club members. 48-minute video. :-)

There is an SGF game record, and an SGF with OGS's KataGo AI, dan-level, review.​

With apologies for the quality of the audio. We will try to improve the audio for next time.

If you like this video, then do check out the London Go Centre (LGC) YouTube channel who host this, and many other Go videos. We thank the LGC, particularly Gerry Gavigan, whose idea it was, and who did all the hard work of editing it.

If you like this video, or others on the LGC channel, then please SUBSCRIBE to the LGC YouTube channel. :-)

Oxgo Mailing List

The oxgo email list is used mainly to send out late-breaking information about club meetings, as well as other club news/info. Any subscriber to the list can post to the list – no-one else can post to the list.

To join the oxgo mailing list, please send an email to harryfearnley@gmail.comZZZ (sorry - remove "ZZZ" from email address). You will be sent an invitation, and further information

Costs and Benefits


The club is affiliated to the British Go Association (BGA). We have no attendance charge. However, if you become a regular member, and/or want to borrow books/equipment, you will be expected to join the BGA, which has a relatively cheap subscription – 2022 annual subscriptions: Full: £24; Concessions: £15; Student (online only): £10.


  • The club has its own equipment – boards (including 9x9, 13x13), stones, and clocks. It also has a small library – members may borrow these books.
  • Members of the BGA get a number of benefits – check out the BGA Membership application page. These include issues of the British Go Journal, newsletter, and discounts on books and equipment.
  • Free Teaching
    We take people from the very beginning – the rules! You can start playing Go within minutes. To learn the basic tactics, we normally start by using small (9x9) boards – games are quicker, more fun, and more instructive. The handicap system used in Go means that you can immediately start playing on even terms with all the other club members. Until you have become a much stronger ("Dan") player you will be able to find stronger players for teaching games, if desired. If you want to study the game seriously, we can offer advice on available books, software, and online resources.

Other Go things in Oxford

  • OUGoS
    The University Club (Oxford University Go Society) meets in the Town Centre, normally only in term-time. All OUGoS members may also freely attend the Oxford Go Club, just as we can visit their club. Its details are on the OUGoS web site.
  • Books and Equipment
    There are several shops and mail order suppliers in UK and other foreign suppliers. There are two specialist boadgames shops in Oxford which stock Go books, and equipment:
  • Annual Tournament
    Oxford often has a Go tournament in mid February – not an alternative to St Valentine's Day! This popular event attracts players from accross Central. and South East England, and is usually organized by the Oxford University Go Society, with substantial help from others from the Oxford City Go Club. The last pre-COVID one was held on 8th February 2020.
  • Some past events
    • Friday, 26th October 2018: Go demo at the Library, Westgate, Oxford. This was a 3-hour, lunchtime, Language Café board game special to – find out more about the game, its history, Go-related art, and Go-playing computers vs humans, etc.; watch it being played, learn how to play it, and then give it a go! :-)

      Westgate Library 2018-10-26

      Players from both the City Go Club, and the Student Go Society, aged 9 to 84, playing and demonstrating to the visitors to the exhibition.

      22nd, 23rd, and 26th October 2018 – also in the City Library – three 2-hour, slots where we played Go, answered questions, and taught some visitors. Several people are now in contact with the club – some with previous experience.

    • 23rd May 2016: Kobayashi Chizu (5p) (小林 千寿) played several demonstration games against local players. These included a game against Junnan Jiang, who had recently won all 6 of his games at the Candidates' Tournament.

      Kobayashi Chizu at RSL

      (L to R): Junnan Jiang (back to camera), HF (standing) Kobayashi Chizu, Richard Ngo, and John Pusey. In the background is the Poster Display

      This was the highlight of the third, and final, lunchtime demonstration to be held in May, at the Radcliffe Science Library, Oxford. The demonstrations included playing Go, while fielding Go-related questions (including about AIs playing Go) from visitors/passers-by. There were several unusual Go books in English, Japanese, and Chinese, as well as a laptop to show the AlphaGo v Lee Sedol games.

      AlphaGo display at RSL

      The Radcliffe Science Library (RSL) had a 6-week-long display, inspired by the AlphaGo phenomenon. This included a Go-board, for passers-by to take turns playing on, and was accompanied by a concise set of rules, and a copy of the Feb 2016 Nature paper (by the Google Deepmind team   https://deepmind.com/) about AlphaGo, and its games against Fan Hui (4p) in October 2015, ... as well as copies of two British-published Go books. There was also a "poster display" outlining the game, its history, and the AlphaGo program.

    • 27th Feb 2014: Two Japanese Professionals – Minematsu Masaki, and Kobayashi Chizu – visit: group play, and guided discussion of the opening, followed by simultaneous games against the professionals. Read a report.
    • 17 February 2013: The annual Oxford-Cambridge Match: The 2013 Oxford-Cambridge Match was held in St Edmund Hall, Oxford, on Sunday 17th February, the day after the Oxford Tournament.

      The Match consisted of two rounds, 50 mins each, with 30/5 Canadian overtime, and 7.5 komi for even games.

      All games were played using handicaps - one less than the normal correct handicap, so giving the advantage to the stronger player/team. 14 of the 21 games were played even.

      There were 11 players on each side. Cambridge had the strongest player (Li Shen), and Oxford the weakest. The playing strengths ranged from 5 dan to 12 kyu, with a majority of the players being dan level, and an average of about 1 kyu. On average, Oxford was 1/2 a stone stronger than Cambridge. Cambridge did better among both the weakest, and the strongest players, while Oxford were more successful in the middle of the range.

      After round 1, the score was Oxford 4 - 6 Cambridge, but the 7 - 4 result in round 2 led to the final result of a narrow win over all for Oxford, 11 - 10.

      Cambridge won the University Match fairly convincingly (7/13 vs 4/10, and direct games 5 - 2), while Oxford won the Gown Match convincingly (7/11 vs 3/8, and direct games 3 - 1).

    • Oxford Mail photo 16 February 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.

      Li Shen (5d), now a student at Cambridge, returned to tournament Go at Oxford and won the event for the third time (previous wins were in 2003 and 2005). He was top of a list of 92 players which included a lot of fellow Cambridge students for the varsity match arranged for the following day, and a large number of novices who could also battle for their own prizes at the bottom end of the draw. Prize vouchers were again supplied by Hoyles who had a bookshop there as usual, and also there were software vouchers from SmartGo (software for iPad/iPhone/iPod Touch and Windows PCs), and GoGoD (Database & Encyclopaedia) . Others winning all three games were Paul Smith (1d Cambridge), Jonathan Reece (2k Oxford), Philip Smith (5k), Andrew Russell (6k Birmingham) and Daniel Peace (11k Oxford).

      The Free Entry Draw was won by Peter Harold-Barry who wisely registered early - on 9th December 2012!

      There were five teams, and the team prize was won by the Smiths (Paul, Roella, Edmund, Andrea, and Kelda) with 10/15.

      In the Novices' Tournament, first prize was won by Isabelle Margetts, who played 12 games in this tournament alone! The prize for second place was shared by Anthony Ghica and Rebecca Margetts.

      The youth prizes, and certificates, were awarded as follows: Under 18: First to Siu Fung Cheung; Second to Melchior Chui; Under 15: First to Roella Smith; Second to Oscar Selby; Under 12: First to Edmund Smith; Second to Kelda Smith; Under 9: First to Hilary Bexfield; Second to Isabelle Margetts; The other Under-18 players received certificates only.

      After the event a large group of players went off to the Simon Eve Memorial Dinner at Sojo's restaurant.

    • 19 February 2012: Oxford-Cambridge Go Match 2012 – Oxford wins 8-7!
    • 18 February 2012: Oxford Go Tournament 2012 – the BGA has published the results, and there was a record turnout of 87.
    • 9–10 April 2011: Go stall at Helping Hands for Japan cultural event at Marlborough School, Woodstock, Oxfordshire.

      The Go Club had a stall at the event, where we played /demonstrated Go, and taught anyone who wanted to learn. We also sold some books, and booklets, as well as cheap Go boards, donating all the proceeds (£76.00) to the fund. Most of the money raised at the week-end – about £10,000 for the whole event – was raised by selling admission tickets.

    • Oxford-Cambridge Match 2011 – Sunday, 13th February 2011. Result:
      Oxford 0 : 6 Cambridge
    • Oxford Go Tournament 2011
      Here are the results of the 2011 Oxford Tournament held on Saturday 12th February, 2011. This was followed by an (optional!) meal in a local restaurant – a chance to meet other Go players from the South East of England, and to remember Simon Eve.

    • NAGAO Kana and Kentaro visit: 2009-10 to 2010-02
      Kana, and her husband Kentaro, were one-time Pair Go representatives for Japan. Kana was tireless as the unofficial teacher for both our club, and the student's club. Her experience teaching in schools in Japan, and of presenting Go on a TV programme for the Nihon Ki-in, made her an ideal teacher.
    • Oxford Tournament 2008
      Here are the results of the 2008 Oxford Tournament held on Saturday 16th February, 2008. This was followed by an (optional!) meal in a local restaurant – a chance to meet other Go players from the South East of England, and to remember Simon Eve.

    • Korean Pros visit, March 2007
      Korean Professionals visit Oxford, March 2007: Two Korean pros – AN YoungGil, and LEE JungWoo – visited UK as part of a European tour. Mr An, and Mr Lee, visited Oxford, and played simultaneous games (with handicap) – players from other clubs in S.E. England joined us. The professionals won all their games! There are further details of their UK visit.
    • Korean Pros visit, April 2006
      Korean Professionals visit Oxford, April 2006: On Thursday 6th April 2006, HaJin LEE, a new young female star of the Go-playing world – together with another woman Go professional, and well-known TV presenter/commentator, HaeWon HAN – were guests of the Oxford City Go Club. They were accompanied by HAHN SongDae, on behalf of KABA. We were joined by players from many other clubs, and played a total of 20 simultaneous games.

Other Go Clubs in the Region

There are other Go clubs nearby. See the British Go Association's map.

For further information, phone/email Harry Fearnley.

Please send any comments or suggestions by e-mail to the maintainer of this page at harryfearnley@gmail.comZZZ (sorry - remove "ZZZ" from email address)

Last updated Wed Feb 28 2024.
If you have any comments, please email the webmaster on web-master AT britgo DOT org.