The South African Closed is an annual championship for the title of South African Champion. Since 1999, it has consisted of 3 main stages. The first stage consists of the various qualifying regional and club open championships (the Qualifying stage). Performance in these tournaments is then considered for entry into the South African Candidates tournament – the second stage (originally called the “Challengers’ stage”). The top 4 positions in the SA Candidates tournament enter the SA Contenders tournament, where they meet the top 4 from the SA Contenders tournament the previous year. This 8-player round robin is the final stage, and the winner is then the South African Closed Champion.
Prior to 1999, the title was awarded to the best placed South African in the SA Open – thus the SA Open Championship was also used as the South African Championship. Each year, the South African Champion is awarded the “Ambassadors Cup” floating trophy, as well as a personal trophy.
Previous SA Champions:
|1998||Victor Chow (5d)|
|1999||Victor Chow (5d)|
|2000||Victor Chow (6d)|
|2002||Victor Chow (6d)|
|2003||Ben Gale (2d)|
|2004||Ben Gale (2d)|
|2005||Victor Chow (6d)|
|2006||Victor Chow (6d)|
|2007||Victor Chow (7d)|
|2008||Victor Chow (7d)|
|2009||Victor Chow (7d)|
|2010||Victor Chow (7d)|
|2011||Victor Chow (7d)|
|2012||Victor Chow (7d)|
|2013||Victor Chow (7d)||Here|
|2014||Victor Chow (7d)||Here|
Placing in this tournament is used to allocate placing points for the credit point system employed to determine the South African representative to the World Amateur Go Championships. Placing points range from 1900 points for a win to 100 for qualifying participation. In addition, all SAGA members who play in a qualifying tournament, but do not qualify for the candidates receive 50 placing points.
Placing point allocation:
As of 2006, tied positions share the relevant placing points, regardless of the actual placings determined by the tie-breaking mechanisms.
Tie-breaking mechanisms in the SA Closed Championship:
a). The results of the games between the tied individuals will be compared first, the winners of such games will be placed higher.
b). If condition a) does not apply then the places of each player in the previous years’ Championship will be compared. The player with the higher place in the previous year will be placed higher.
c). If both conditions a) and b) do not break the tie then the tied players will share the places and placing points for which they have tied.
This tournament is organized by SAGA. Before 1999 the SA Closed champion was determined as part of the SA Open tournament.
The Qualifying Stage
The aim of this stage is to select 12 qualifiers, who are SAGA members and South African citizens, to proceed to the Candidates’ stage.
Requirements for qualifying tournaments
Clubs that participate in the SAGA ranking system and submit regular game result sheets may host qualifying tournaments, however a tournament will only be recognised as a qualifying tournament under the following conditions:
a). The tournament is held on a public holiday or weekend and all members of SAGA have been notified of the exact date, time for each round to start, venue and fees payable at least 6 weeks in advance. Tournament organisers should book dates with the SAGA tournament director to ensure that dates do not clash. The SAGA tournament director will also arrange for notices to be distributed to all members if the information is received in good time.
b). The tournament is open to all players.
c). The tournament has at least 5 participants who are members of SAGA.
d). In games played below the bar, handicaps may be used and determined on the basis of the MacMahon score difference between paired players minus two.
e). White receives 6 1/2 points komi in even games and 1/2 point in handicap games.
f). A time limit of 1 hour thinking time per player plus 20 moves for each 5 minute overtime period is applied to all games.
All qualifying tournaments shall be 1-day, 3-round MacMahon tournaments.
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