AGA Professional System
The AGA Professional System is the official go professional certification system for the United States and Canada. The professional system is organized and authorized by the Pro-System Committee of the AGA.
The Pro Qualification Tournament is annual and invitational based on go achievements in various tournaments.
To be an AGA-Certified Go Professional, you should be an American or Canadian citizen. Also, you have to meet the Pro-System Committee's residency criteria. Next is to be qualified as a finalist.
There will be 8 finalists for the 2013 Pro Qualification Tournament.
- Two are seeded players from the last year Pro Qualification Tournament.
- one finalist selected by the Canadian Go Association from the Canadian Open (6/28-7/1)
- two are from US Go Congress Open division.
- one finalist from Cotsen Open (10/26 and 27),
- one finalist from Gotham Go Tournament (10/12)
- one finalist Online Prelim Tournament which is scheduled in November 2013.
The winner of the 8 finalists competing in the 2nd Pro Qualification Tournament will become an AGA-Certified Go Professional. The 2nd Pro Qualification Tournament will be face to face, held in the Los Angeles area in January 2-8, 2014. The location and time for the final tournament can be varied year by year.
The American Go Association (AGA) in December 2011 signed agreements with Korea to promote a new professional players’ system in the U.S. AGA Board Chairman Andy Okun signed the agreements with the Korea Baduk Association and the Korean go server TongYang Online (Tygem) December 19th 2011 in Seoul, Korea. “With the generous support of the KBA and Tygem, we are off to a great start,” Okun said. “These partnerships will help grow go in the U.S. and produce players who can win at the international level. This may be a long road, but with our partners’ help it will be a successful finish.” Said KBA Secretary General Yang Jae-Ho, “The KBA wants the AGA to grow, and is hoping to see American professional players who defeat Asian players in an international tournament.” He added that “I hope to see even bigger tournaments than the Samsung and LG Cup in America.” And Tygem CEO Jeong In-Soo said that “I sincerely hope TongYang Online and the AGA will lead the globalization of baduk through our cooperation.” Tygem agreed to provide $30,000 in 2012 to fund the AGA’s professional certification tournament, which will be broadcast exclusively via Tygem, which recently launched its English language website, and is seeking to expand its player base outside Asia. Under the KBA Memorandum Of Understanding (MOU), as part of its cultural mission to spread go around the world, has agreed to allow AGA-Certified Go Professionals to compete in five major Korean tournaments and to provide them with low-cost training. Kim Myung-Wan 9P, the KBA representative to the U.S., will continue to support the AGA’s efforts, and will chair a committee designing the certification system and developing pro activities. Okun credited the two agreements to Kim’s “hard work and perseverance.” Click here for the Tygem MOU.