The North American Masters Tournament

The North American Masters Tournament (NAMT) is the North American continental championship. The tournament was originally called the North American Ing Cup, and featured a field of sixteen amateur players from Canada, Mexico and the United States. In 2007, the Ing Cup was merged with the North American Masters Tournament to become the NAIM. As of the 2013 event, it is officially the North American Masters Tournament Again. The tournament format matches sixteen of North America's strongest amateurs and professionals in a 4-round Swiss tournament to determine a champion. This tournament is run each year at the US Go Congress and is one of North America's most heavily contested events.

Selection Process

The field of the North American Ing Masters is filled with professionals and amateurs from North American countries. Players are selected for the tournament in the following order:

  • Players holding certification from the professional go organizations of Japan, Korea, China, Taiwan or the USA
  • Players seeded from the previous year's tournament
  • Players selected by the national go associations of Canadian and the United States
    • Canada (four players)
    • the USA (remaining spots)

Professional go players must hold citizenship or permanent residency in Canada or the United States and must have resided in North America for six of the twelve months prior to the start of each year's qualifying tournament cycle (January 1).

US amateurs must meet the same criteria as professionals and must also have continuous full or youth membership in the AGA for the twelve months prior to the start of the qualifying tournament cycle.

Amateurs from Canada are selected by the national go associations of Canada. Players must hold citizenship or permanent residency in Canada or the United States and may be subject to other requirements set by their national go association.

The AGA selects its amateur players based on a series of regional and Internet qualifying tournaments. Top-placing players in the event are awarded points based on both their placement within the tournament as well as the strength of the tournament field. A description of the points system may be found here.

Eligibility requirements

For any player to participate as an American Professional in this tournament, the player must meet the following criteria:

  • Be a certified professional from a recognized national Go Association,
  • Hold membership in the AGA,
  • Be a US citizen or a permanent resident, and
  • Have physically resided in the United States for at least six of the last twelve calendar months.

For any player to participate as a non-professional in this tournament, the player must meet the following criteria:

  • Hold full AGA membership,
  • Be a US citizen or a permanent resident, and
  • Have been physically resident in the United States for at least six of the last twelve calendar months

The AGA may ask players to present proof of any or all of the above criteria before the player begins to play in the Tournament and players shall cooperate with such requests in a timely manner.

Current Event

We are now soliciting bids from chapters interested in hosting qualifier tournaments for the 2014 North American Masters Tournament. We will sanction up to 8 qualification tournaments, with the expectation that there will be two in each region (East, West, and Central) and two online tournaments. Tournament bids will be evaluated on a case by case basis. As the Ing Foundation is no longer providing financial assistance, the former practice of providing funding to enhance the prize funds for qualification tournaments is no longer possible. Email tournaments@usgo.org for more information.

Qualifiers will compete in a four-round tournament at the US Go Congress in 2014. Qualification is based on points received by placing in these qualification events. The points available at each event depend on the average strength, and the number of participants. (Click here to see details of how the point system works). Invitations to compete in the finals will go in the following order to: American Professionals, Seeded players (from high placement in the 2010 event), representatives of other countries (Canada 2, Mexico 1), any clear (untied) winner of a qualifier, and those receiving the highest point totals in the qualifiers.

Past Champions

Year Location Champion
1991 Rochester, NY Charles Huh
1992 Salem, OR Dae Yol Kim
1993 South Hadley, MA Charles Huh
1994 Washington, DC John Lee
1995 Seattle, WA Thomas Hsiang
1996 Cleveland, OH Jong Moon Lee
1997 Lancaster, PA Keun Young Lee
1998 Sante Fe, NM Jong Moon Lee
1999 San Francisco, CA Jong Moon Lee
2000 Denver, CO Thomas Hsiang
2001 York, PA Ke Huang
2002 Chicago, IL Jie Li
2003 Houston, TX Joey Hung
2004 Rochester, NY Jie Li
2005 Tacoma, WA Jie Li
2006 Asheville, NC Zhaonian (Michael) Chen
2007 York, PA Mingjiu Jiang
2008 Portland, OR Feng Yun
2009 Washington, DC Zhi Yuan (Andy) Liu
2010 Colorado Springs, CO Huiren Yang
2011 Santa Barbara, CA Zi Yang Hu
2012 Black Mountain, NC Zi Yang Hu
2013 Tacoma, WA Zi Yang Hu