Report from the 2013 British Go Congress

[This is a guest article by Tony Collman from the Letchworth Go Club.]


British Go Congress 2013 group photo.

The 2013 British Go Congress took place last weekend, April 5-7, at the Cromwell Hotel, Stevenage in Hertfordshire, England.

It was deemed to be a great success by those who attended.

Michael Redmond kicks off

Special guest, Japanese/American professional Go player, Michael Redmond 9p, started events on Friday with a teaching session and a spot-the-move competition, which was followed in the evening by simultaneous games against Redmond.


Michael Redmond (9 dan, center) reviewing games and teaching.

Meanwhile, competitive play kicked off in the match room next door, with a lightning tournament won by 10 year old Oscar Selby 12k.

The British Open Go Tournament was held on the Saturday and Sunday.

Chinese national Du Zebin 4d took first place, winning all six games. His compatriot, Zhang Yuanbo 4d, was the runner up.


Du Zebin, 2013 British Open Go Champion.

Priorities for the BGA in 2013-14

Saturday evening saw the Annual General Meeting of the British Go Association (BGA).

The President’s Report for 2012/13 was presented to the membership, where the priorities for 2013-14 were outlined as recruitment and retention, outreach and youth development.

It was noted that a couple of new clubs opened in Britain this year, though some existing clubs “seem to be giving up”.

The continuing difficulty in recruiting the ever increasing number of online players was also noted.

British Open Champion


Michael Redmond and Du Zebin at the awards ceremony.

The Tournament was over and the results were in by 5.30pm on Sunday. The prize giving followed in short order, with Redmond presenting prizes.

The British Open Championship Trophy went to Du Zebin, an International Business Management student at the University of Nottingham, who has been playing and studying Go since the age of 8.

Sadly, he felt unable to take the trophy away, as his course finishes in the summer when he expects to return to his native China.

Du said, “I’m a little surprised at how many people play Go in the UK, and I would like to play Go with them again in the future.”

Terry Stacey Memorial Trophy

The Terry Stacey Memorial Trophy, for the player who won the most tournaments above the bar this year went to Andrew Simons 4d of Cambridge.

The precocious Oscar Selby


Oscar Selby with his prizes.

The precocious Oscar Selby took away a clutch of prizes, including a special category prize of a copy of Counting Liberties and Winning Capturing Races, by Richard Hunter 3d (signed by the author and by Michael Redmond).

Before presenting the prize, Redmond recounted that about half an hour after the beginning of every (2 hour) tournament game, a certain little boy would come up to him, having already dispatched his opponent, and review his own game, pointing out exactly where his victim had gone wrong!

Click here (or see below) for his third round game as black, with a variation at 54: Oscar’s demonstration of a tesuji to kill the black’s group in the top right, overlooked by white at the time.

Thanks to the organizers

The events were organized by Alison Bexfield 2d of the Letchworth Garden City Go Club, ably assisted by her husband Simon 1d, who also had a hand in the design and production of some of the lesser prizes – ‘flying’ Go stones and rotating geared puzzle Go stones.

The assembly gave them a well deserved cheer and vote of thanks before heading back to their homes throughout the UK.

All competitors’ grades are as published on the Tournament Results Sheet.

Click here for more details of prize winners in British Go Association’s report.

Click here for the American Go Association’s report of the event.

2013 British Go Congress photos

Game records

Du Zebin vs Zhang Yuanbo


Download SGF File (Go Game Record)


Oscar Selby vs Ben Murphy


Download SGF File (Go Game Record)


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  1. Why is Du Zebin splattered with blood? Was the tournament really that violent?

    • Tony Collman says:

      No, it was really all very peaceful! That’s actually a floral design on his cardie. Apologies for quality of photography.

  2. Nice article! I for one would like to see these “flying” and “rotating puzzle” go stones.

    • Tony Collman says:

      Thanks, V.

      All the prizes are on the table in one of the gallery photos, but it is hard to make them out at the distance.

      All I can really say about the rotating puzzle Go stones is that they were manufactured by 3d printing, looked like Go stones and rotated in a most puzzling manner! Using gears. Simon Bexfield at [email protected] would be the best person to help further.

      As for the “flying” ones, I never actually *saw* one fly, but I know there were big ones and little ones.

  3. Woo, I (Andrew Simons) have a fan!

    A slight correction about the Stacey trophy (which is a 5kg chunk of wood with a giant Go stone on the top, challenging to carry home on my bike!). It’s for the most tournament _games_ won above the McMahon bar in open serious tournaments over the year to the British Open. I won this year with 29 wins (out of 40) which was actually fewer than I got last year (32/44) but last year Andrew Kay (the current British champion) played a lot too and won with 36/42 (this year he played less and got 16/20).

  4. So sad. When I think Stevenage and my city (Autun, France) are betwinned… somedays I believe I’m not born in the right country. If I’d known it, I’d ask the mayor to send me there…

  5. Tony Collman says:

    Quel dommage, Moreau!

    Next time you visit your twin town, perhaps you’ll drop in to the club at nearby Letchworth (