|Final champion(s)||John Higgins|
The tournament had various sponsors and venues over the years. It took place around November each year. Prior to the 1999/2000 season, it was held later in the season. As a result, two tournaments were held in 1999, one for the 1998/1999 season and one for the 1999/2000 season.
The tournament began in 1980 as the British Gold Cup in the Assembly Rooms, Derby. It was a sixteen-man invitation event and was played on a round robin basis with the group winners advancing to the semi-finals. The next year Yamaha took over sponsorship and the tournament was renamed the Yamaha Organs Trophy. The next year the tournaments name was changed to International Masters. The top eight of the first round robin stage played in two further groups and the winners advanced to the final. For 1984 the field of the tournament was increased to 27 and nine three-man groups were organised. The winners played in three semi-final groups and the winners played in a three-man round robin final.
After WPBSA decided to increase the number of ranking events in 1984/1985 and Yamaha withdrew its sponsorship the event was renamed the British Open. Dulux was the sponsor of the event between 1985 and 1987. In the next six years the event had four different sponsors: MIM Britannia Unit Trusts in 1988, Anglian Windows in 1989, Pearl Assurance between 1990 and 1992, and Wickes Home Improvements in 1993. In 1990 FA Cup style draws were introduced from the last 32 stage of the event.
In 1994 the tournament was moved to the Plymouth Pavilions. Between 1994 and 2004 the event was sponsored in only three years by Castella in 1995 and 1996, and by Stan James in 2001. The event was moved to the first half of the calendar in 1999/2000. The event than moved to the Telewest Arena in Newcastle for 2001, the Telford International Centre for 2002 and the Brighton Centre for 2003 and 2004. The event was dropped from the calendar in 2005/2006.
There were six maximum breaks during the history of the tournament. James Wattana made the first in 1992 in the last 16 against Tony Drago. The second and third came at the qualifying stage of the event. David McDonnell compiled it in the fourth round of the 1995 event against Nic Barrow and Jason Prince in the fifth round of the first 1999 event against Ian Brumby. Graeme Dott made the fourth at the same event in the last 64 against David Roe. The fifth was Stephen Hendry's second official maximum break, which he compiled in the final of the second 1999 event against Peter Ebdon. The last was made by John Higgins in the last 32 of the 2003 event against Michael Judge.
- Final was decided on a three-man round robin basis, the third player was John Dunning.
- Turner, Chris. "British Open Including British Gold Cup, Yamaha Organs Trophy and Yamaha International Masters". cajt.pwp.blueyonder.co.uk. Chris Turner's Snooker Archive. Archived from the original on 16 February 2012. Retrieved 12 October 2011.
- Turner, Chris. "Maximum breaks". cajt.pwp.blueyonder.co.uk. Chris Turner's Snooker Archive. Archived from the original on 10 February 2013. Retrieved 12 October 2011.
- Turner, Chris. "On this Week: British success for the Whirlwind". Eurosport UK. Archived from the original on 7 August 2011. Retrieved 24 May 2011.
- "British Open Finals". Snooker.org. Retrieved 22 June 2013.