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The Bar-Low Tournament

The Bar-Low Tournament is designed to appeal specially to kyu players - in fact dan players are strictly forbidden. In recent times it has been held as a part of MSO Cambridge, in May of each year.

The time limit of 35 minutes and no overtime means that you get 5 rounds in the day and since the MacMahon bar is normally set no higher than 3 kyu (it fact, it has always been 5 kyu or lower so far) it might be your chance to win a tournament outright. Charles Matthews points out that nearly everyone who has won has gone on to be promoted ...

The 19th Bar-Low Tournament

was on Sunday 3rd May 2015 in Trinity College. The winner was Tobias Ungerer, with 4 wins. Full results from the BGA website.

The 18th Bar-Low Tournament

was on Sunday 4th May 2014 in Warwick. The winner was Chris Volk, with 4 wins. Full results from the BGA website.

The 17th Bar-Low Tournament

was on Sunday 5th May 2013 at Trinity College, Cambridge. The winner was Mike Cockburn 1k, with 5 wins. Full results from the BGA website.

The 16th Bar-Low Tournament

was on Sunday 6th May 2012 at Trinity College, Cambridge. The winner was Florian Borchers 3k, with 3 wins. Full results from the BGA website.

The 15th Bar-Low Tournament

was on Sunday 1st May 2011 at Trinity College, Cambridge. Joint winners were Graham Lamburn 1k, John Richardson 1k and Adan Mordcovich 2k, each with 4 wins. Full results from the BGA website.

The 14th Bar-Low Tournament

was on Sunday 2nd May 2010 at Trinity College, Cambridge. The winner was James Murray 2k. Full results from the BGA website.

The 13th Bar-Low Tournament

was held on Sunday 3rd May 2009 at Trinity College, Cambridge. The winner was Edwin Brady 2k. Full results from the BGA website.

The 12th Bar-Low Tournament

was held on on Sunday, 4th May 2008 at Trinity College, Cambridge. The tournament was part of MSO Cambridge 2008. Ed Wormington 4k won the tournament. Full results are available from BGA Tournament Results.

The 11th Bar-Low Tournament

was held on on Sunday, 6th May 2007 at Netherhall Upper School, Cambridge. The tournament was part of MSO Cambridge 2007. Andrew Kay (1k) won the tournament, with five wins out of five. Full results are available from BGA Tournament Results.

The 10th Bar-Low Tournament

was held on on Sunday, 7th May 2006. The winner was Paul Tabor, 1k. Full results are available from BGA Tournament Results.

The 9th Bar-Low Tournament

was held on on Sunday, 8th May 2005 at Netherhall Upper School, Cambridge. The tournament was part of MSO Cambridge 2005. The overall winner was Matthew Reid 1-kyu, winning 5/5 with lots of Cambridge interest in the higher places. Full results are available from BGA Tournament Results.

The 8th Bar-Low Tournament

was held on on Sunday, 2th May 2004 in the Parkside Community Center, Cambridge and was run by CUGOS member Nick Krempel. The tournament was part of MSO Cambridge 2004. The overall winner was Jong Ug Kim 1-kyu, winning 5/5. Full results are available from BGA Tournament Results.

The 7th Bar-Low Tournament

was held on on Sunday, 4th May 2003 in the Parkside Community Center, Cambridge. The tournament was part of MSO Cambridge 2003. The overall winner was Paul Taylor 1-kyu who went on to play in the Dan's Tournament. Full results are available from BGA Tournament Results.

The 6th Bar-Low Tournament

was held on on Sunday, 5th May 2002 in the Parkside Community Center, Cambridge. The tournament was part of MSO Cambridge 2002. The overall winner was Edward Blockley 2-kyu; full results are available from BGA Tournament Results.

The 5th Bar-Low Tournament

took place as part of MSO Cambridge on Sunday, 6th May 2001, sponsored by Purple Technologies. The winner, and only player on 5/5, was Mike Cockburn. The full results are available here on the BGA website.

The 4th Bar-Low Tournament

took place in CB2 (Cambridge Internet Bistro) on Sunday, 7th May 2000. Phil Beck (2K) took first place, winning all five of his matches. The full results can be found at BGA Tournament Results.

For historical reasons, you can find a copy of the entry form here.

The 3rd Bar-Low Tournament

took place on Sunday 2nd May 1999 in the University Centre once again. It was won by Jonathan Chin (1 kyu) from Cambridge again. Other players will be pleased to note that Jonathan has now been made a 1 dan so perhaps someone else will get a chance to win this year. The full results can be found at BGA Tournament Results.

The 2nd Bar-Low Tournament

This took place on Sunday 3rd May 1998. 32 Players from all over England (not to mention one from Scotland and one from the continent) came to Cambridge to battle it out. Grades ranged from 30 kyu to 1 kyu and 5 years old to many years old. Unfortunately the event clashed with a local chess tournament so there were not as many entries from the Cambridge Junior Chess and Go Club as I had hoped for. This left the lower end of the draw a little thin. The MacMahon bar was set at 5 kyu again after the 4 and 5 kyus voted unanimously to be above it.

At the top the tournament was a four-way tie. I suppose that that is my fault for putting 20 people above the bar in a five round tournament. We could only have got a unique winner if someone had won 5/5. For a long time it looked like Jonathan Chin (1 kyu, Cambridge) would indeed repeat his 1997 performance and achieve this. Then he lost to Pengfei He (1 kyu, Cambridge) in round 4. That left Pengfei as the only person who could come out of round 5 with an unbeaten record and he started strongly against Nick Wedd (1 kyu, Oxford) in the last round. Nick came back strongly to win, however, and Robert Salkeld (1 kyu) also joined them on 4/5 above the bar. Since there was not really a first prize it seemed fairest to let them share the glory and first choice of the chocolates and bottles of wine.

The other prize for 4/5 went to Robert Biegler (10 kyu, Newcastle). Prizes for 3/5 were awarded to those below 2 kyu: Pierre Chartier (4 kyu, Cambridge), Richard Mullens (4 kyu, St Albans), Bill Streeten (4 kyu, Wanstead), Matthew Reid (5 kyu, Cambridge), Robert Jack (8 kyu, Cambridge), William Brooks (14 kyu, Cambridge, 8 years old).

The Results table and estimated grades based on peoples' performances are available. The estimated grades are one of the less serious features of Geoff Kaniuk's godraw program and so should just be treated as a bit of fun.

Luise Wolf (5 years old) takes on William Brookes (8 years old) in the first round. See a full sized version.

The 1st Bar-Low Tournament

The 1st Bar-Low tournament took place on Sunday 4th May 1997 and attracted 32 players who all seemed to have a very enjoyable day. The bar was indeed set low at 5 kyu. This gave a lot of people the chance to win but no-one could compete with Jonathan Chin's (1 kyu, Reading) excellent 5 out of 5 wins. Prizes were also won by Robert Jack (18 kyu, Cambridge) on 4½ wins and Nick Wedd (1 kyu, Oxford), Emma Marchant (9 kyu, Brakenhale), Mark Worthington (8 kyu, Cambridge), Matthew Reid (12 kyu, Cambridge), David Firth (17 kyu, Cambridge) and Stephen Wells (15 kyu, Cambridge) on 4 wins.

What is this MacMahon Bar?

The short answer is that if you don't know already then it probably doesn't affect you. You should just come along to the tournament and enjoy yourself. However for those who would like to know there is a page explaining how a typical go tournament works.