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 February 10, 2011) are:

Name 1999 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 Total
Eric Lui               5 25 25* 20 25 45
Yuan Zhou     10 5   10   5 5   15 10 35
Curtis Tang           15   20       15 35
Lianzhou Yu 5 10 5 15   5 10 10 20       30
Matthew Burrall                 10 5 5 10 30
Zhi Yuan (Andy) Liu         25     25*     25   25
Ned Phipps 10             5   15     20
Jie Liang                       20 20
I-Han Lui   5   5 5   5   15       15
Zhongxia (Ricky) Zhao                   10 5   15
Edward Kim 15 5       20 5     10     10
Ron Snyder     10   5 5   10         10
William Zhou                 5 5     10
Jason Gu                     10   10
Young Kwon                 5       5
Guozhong Zhuang                     5   5
Ben Lockhart                       5 5
Hugh Zhang                       5 5
Daniel Chou                       5 5
Thomas Hsiang 10 20 5 10 5 * 5     20 10*   0
Jin Chen                 10 5     0
Ted Ning   25 20 10     15           0
John Starkweather 5                       0
Edward Kao 5                       0
Jung Hoon Lee       25 15               0
Dae Yol Kim     5                   0
Joey Hung   10   5 20 10 25*           0
Mozheng Guan         10 25   15 *       0
Jong Moon Lee 20 15 15   10   20           0
Ho Suk Yi 25 5 25 20   5 10           0

Red boxes indicate expired points. 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.

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