The World Amateur Go Championship

The World Amateur Go Championship (WAGC) is organized under the auspices of the International Go Federation. Held annually since 1979, the WAGC brings together top amateur players from all over the world for a week-long Swiss-style tournament. Players representing over 60 countries now compete in the event. American players have competed every year, placing in the top ten several times.

The selection process in the United States requires regular participation in the US Open, and promotes recognition of consistent performance and participation. Contenders should be prepared to commit as much time to competing for this prize as they would when competing in the WAGC itself.

Selection Process

To be eligible for selection as WAGC representatives, players must comply with the AGA's policy of the selection of international representatives. In particular, each WAGC representative must:

  • hold US citizenship
  • have been physically resident in the United States for six of the past twelve months
  • have held continuous AGA membership for the past year
  • have completed ten AGA-rated games within the past year
  • comply with relevant drug testing policies
  • not be selected to represent the US at the Korean Prime Minister's Cup tournaments immediately preceding or following selection as the WAGC representative

Information about the AGA and IGF's policies on drug screening can be found on the general tournament information page. The selection process uses a point-based system, in which WAGC Qualfying Points are awarded to US citizens based on their final standings in the US Open, a six-round Swiss-McMahon event played each year at the US Go Congress. The available eligible player with the highest five-year cumulative WAGC Qualifying Point total is selected each year as the US representative to the WAGC.

WAGC Qualifying Points are awarded at the US Open as follows:

  • 1st: 25 points
  • 2nd: 20 points
  • 3rd: 15 points
  • 4th: 10 points
  • 5th: 10 points
  • 6th: 5 points
  • 7th: 5 points
  • 8th: 5 points

Points are awarded for the relative standing of US citizens within the tournament field, so that the top placing eligible player receives 25 points regardless of their final standing in the tournament. Ties within the tournament are broken using the SOS followed by the SDOS systems. Points are split evenly between players who remain tied.

Points expire in one of three ways:

  • Five years after being awarded
  • The US representative to the WAGC loses all accumulated points
  • As the result of a three month lapse in AGA membership (effective Dec. 1, 2008).

An administrative document describing the WAGC selection procedure is available here.

Current Standings

The WAGC point standings (as of October 16, 2014) are:

Players 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 Total
Dae Hyuk Ko 10 10 20 40
Matthew Burrall 10 5 5 5 10 35
Hugh Zhang 5 5 20 30
Ben Lockhart 25 25
Andrew Lu 15 15
Eric Lui * 15 15
Yuan Zhou * 5 5 5 15
Zhongxia Zhao 15 15
Edward Kim 10 10
Kevin Huang 10 10
Andrew Huang 10 10
Daniel Chou 5 5
Guthrie Price 5 5
Albert Yen 5 5
Jun Wang 5 5
Aaron Ye 5 5

WAGC representatives are marked with an asterisk. The years listed are US Go Congress years; the WAGC events take place in the following year in the spring. Only players with active points are represented on the spreadsheet.

Past Representatives

Event Year Number of Players US Representative Final Standing Games
1st 1979 30 players
15 countries
Kyung Wan Kim Top 16  
Shin A. Kang Top 16  
Shigeo Matushara Top 30  
2nd 1980 32 Takao Matsuda Top 16  
Ned Phipps Top 16  
Kyung Wan Kim Top 8  
3rd 1981 32 players
24 countries
Ron Snyder 7th  
Hai-Chow Chen 10th  
4th 1982 28 Sidney Kobashigawa 6th  
5th 1983 29 Gun-ho Choi 11th  
6th 1984 30 Hong Soo Shin 13th  
7th 1985 31 Charles Huh 5th SGF, SGF
8th 1986 34 Ron Snyder 14th SGF
9th 1987 34 Takao Matsuda 14th SGF
10th 1988 36 Jung Ho Lim 19th SGF, SGF
11th 1989 38 Hong Soo Shin 17th  
12th 1990 39 Charles Huh 9th  
13th 1991 39 Joseph Wang 11th  
14th 1992 40 Joong Ki Kim 11th  
15th 1993 40 W. Kim 18th  
16th 1994 44 John Lee 5th  
17th 1995 43 Jong Moon Lee 5th  
18th 1996 46 Thomas Faul Ko 5th SGF
19th 1997 46 Hosuk Yi 11th  
20th 1998 50 Thomas Hsiang 8th  
21st 1999 55 Ted Ning 8th  
22nd 2000 56 Jong Moon Lee 14th  
23rd 2001 56 Edward Kim 13th SGF, SGF, SGF, SGF
24th 2002 61 Hosuk Yi 12th SGF, SGF, SGF
  2003 SARS outbreak. Event cancelled.  
25th 2004 64 Ted Ning 8th SGF, SGF, SGF
26th 2005 65 Thomas Hsiang 7th SGF, SGF, SGF
27th 2006 68 Joey Hung 6th SGF, SGF, SGF
28th 2007 68 Zhiyuan Liu 8th SGF, SGF, SGF
29th 2008 68 Mozheng Guan 7th SGF, SGF
30th 2009 66 Eric Lui 15th SGF, SGF, SGF, SGF
31st 2010 60 Thomas Hsiang 12th SGF, SGF, SGF
32nd 2011 57 Eric Lui 3rd  
33rd 2012 56 Yuan Zhou 21st  
34th 2013 56 Curtis Tang 14th  
35th 2014 54 Jie Liang 10th