Note: Not all people shown here are Officials of the BGA.

Neil Sandford

Taught to play in the early 1970s, and retired at 4kyu after being asked to 'entertain' a friend's Japanese father (3 dan), having to play two games with 4 stones (was something lost in translation?) and winning them both. That was it for Go until I stopped playing golf about ten years ago and picked up the stones again instead.

Currently event organiser at the Edinburgh club, running a U3A (University of the Third Age) Go group in Haddington and helping at the James Gillespie school in Edinburgh. I am uniquely well-placed to teach beginners having been one myself for 45 years.

Bob Scantlebury

"I am from the north (Rochdale) and learned to play Go in 1975 at the age of 18 from my brother Stuart who was a board game fanatic. I went up to Oxford (Biochemistry) in the same year, but did not pursue Go as much as rowing (and drinking of course!). I went down in 1979 when I took up Go again in Manchester after starting work as a software developer (CAP – anyone heard of them?).

I was posted to London where my Go career took off and I reached the dizzy heights of 6 kyu in about 1982. Then things went quiet and I didn’t take up Go again until 2003 (after many adventures) when I started playing with a friend again in Manchester. I have only just managed to reclaim being a 6 kyu in the modern era.

I am single, retired and living in Sheffield where there is an active Go club. Interests include philosophy, Zen, beer, walking and counselling (I am a psychotherapist in my spare time)."

December 2014

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Jil Segerman

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Alex Selby
Li Shen
Piers Shepperson
Simon Shiu

Simon, 40, learnt to play go as a child in the late 1970s. He became very active again in the 1990s playing at the Newcastle, Teesside, and Bristol clubs. He was also a regular on the UK tournament scene, with his best successes coming in the late 1990s. He is married with 2 boys. He currently plays at the Bristol (HP) club, and the occasional tournament.

October 2008

Andrew Simons

Andrew, 26, first learnt Go from a school-friend but never got past the surprise of seeing his stones, apparently in atari, being captured. During the summer after his first year at Cambridge University he discovered he could play online on KGS, joined the University club on his return and has been an avid player ever since.

He skipped his graduation to go to China for a 2 month Go holiday where he progressed from around 1 dan to 3 dan, but hasn't got much better since. He lives in Cambridge where he works for Autonomy, a software company.

He represented the UK at the second World Mind Sports Games.

August 2012

Paul Smith

Paul, 50, lives in Cambridge. He works as a software developer at Addenbrookes Hospital in Cambridge. He learned to play Go when he was 9 years old from a book by the games collector R C Bell. He later started a Go club in his school and they competed in the British Schools Championship in 1980.

He was promoted to 1-dan in 1993 and 2-dan in 1996. In the same year he played on board 2 for the UK team at the European Teams Championship in Zlin. He was the British Small Board Go champion in 2008.

Paul helps to organise the Cambridge Junior Chess & Go Club which has now been running for 18 years, and also a Go club in Milton Primary School. His wife and three children all play Go and at the Oxford Go tournament this year the whole family for the first time all played in the same event.

He represented the UK at the second World Mind Sports Games and was a Council member from 2011 to 2013.

August 2012, revised April 2013

Maria Tabor

"I was taught go at the age of 14 by my dad, Paul. Shortly after learning, I attended my first tournament at the Isle of Man, where I was introduced to the friendly community of Go in Britain. This inviting atmosphere is what encouraged me to go to tournaments often.

Throughout the last 8 years I've attended many BGA tournaments. In 2006 & 2008 I was U16 & U18's UK youth champ. My biggest achievement to date was playing in the GB woman's team in the 1st World Mind Sports Games in Beijing. In 2010 - 2012, I was a part of the team that ran Nottingham Go tournament, which was great fun and I would recommend anyone interested in the game to become a part of running a tournament."

Maria was a Council member in 2012/3.

May 2012, revised April 2013

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Paul Tabor

Paul, 52, learnt to play Go while at school. His principal mentor was Francis Roads, President of the British Go Association at the time, and he progressed to a low kyu rank before going to university. Lack of opportunity and family responsibilities meant that he didn't play very often for many years but he was attracted back into the game at around the time that his daughter Maria took an interest in the game.

He became an amateur dan player at the end of 2006 and now plays regularly at clubs, tournaments and online. Paul lives in Hildenborough, Kent and works as a business analyst specialising in Investment Banking. His interests include running and winter mountaineering. He is also Chairman of Sevenoaks Athletic Club and represented us at the previous WMSG in Beijing.

June 2012

Kiyohiko Tanaka
Sandy Taylor
Kathleen Timmins
Alistair Wall
Nick Wedd
Peter Wendes

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Sheila Wendes
Colin Williams

Colin first saw the game of Go at school, when two sixth-formers were playing a strange game that involved a home-made board and over 300 blue and white toothpaste tube tops (goodness knows how long it took them to collect them). Then Clive Fraser joined the teaching staff and set up a Go club, from when he was hooked.

There was a playing gap while at University, but a few years later when in Farnham he met Richard Granville – and it started again. Several years followed playing at the West Surrey Club, and co-organising the annual West Surrey Handicap Tournament with Steve Bailey, during which he rose to the dizzy heights of 2 kyu.

Then, as for many, family duties and work intervened, and there was a 25+ year Go drought. Having retired in 2018 he joined the Bristol Go Club and has re-found a passion for the game. With some time on his hands, now is the opportunity for him to give back to the game through the auspices of the BGA Council.

His ambition – probably hopeless – is to advance from his current 5/6 kyu up to shodan.