World Amateur Go Championship

    Keywords: Tournament

The World Amateur Go Championship (WAGC) is an event in which amateur players from around the world compete for the official world amateur title. The event is held every year, under the supervision of the International Go Federation.

Each participating national Go association sends one player, typically the amateur champion of the country concerned. The tournament has grown from 15 countries and territories in 1979 to 68 in 2006 (the peak number to date). In 2009, 70 countries were eligible to provide a participant, but only 66 competed (presumably because of financial, political or health reasons).

Current time limits are 60 minutes per player followed by byo-yomi of 30 seconds x 3 times.

In 2021, the WAGC took place in Russia, the city of Vladivostok. Official website: [ext], the official facebook page: [ext]


The first WAGC was held in 1979 with 30 participants from 15 countries. In its early years, the WAGC used a knock-out system with a variable number of extra rounds for losing players, depending on how quickly they were knocked out. From 1984 onwards, the Swiss Pairing was used, initially with 7 rounds, and from 1986 with 8 rounds. In 2015 McMahon Pairing was introduced without telling the participants beforehand.

From 1979 until 2009, the event was always held in Japan, with the exception of 1987, when it was held in Beijing. In 2003, the WAGC was canceled due to the SARS outbreak, and Korea hosted a replacement event, the Incheon World Amateur Baduk Championship (IWABC). From 2010 onwards, the event started to be rotated among Japan, China and Korea, and other major countries.

Japan Airlines sponsored the WAGC from its inception until the 29th edition in 2008. Its sponsorship included air tickets for all the participants of the WAGC.

In 2006, Korea also started holding a world amateur championship. See Korea Prime Minister Cup World Baduk Championship.

Venue and Winners

The following is a list of winners to date, detailed results can be found at: [ext]

Edition Year Venue # of Countries Winner Country Link
42nd 2022 Online (Fox)/China x Bai Baoxiang China x
41st 2021 Vladivostok Russian Federation 57 Ma Tianfang China [ext] results
40th 2019 Matsue Japan 59 Wang Chen? China

[ext] results

39th 2018 Tokyo Japan 61 Chan Yi-Tien Taiwan, Province Of China

[ext] results

38th 2017 Guiyang China 48 Bai Baoxiang China
37th 2016 Wuxi China 55 Bai Baoxiang China [ext] results
36th 2015 Bangkok Thailand 57 Kim Changhun Korea, Republic Of [ext] coverage
35th 2014 Gyeongju Korea, Republic Of 54 Chan Yi-Tien Taiwan, Province Of China [ext] coverage
34th 2013 Sendai Japan 56 Choi Hyunjae Korea, Republic Of [ext] coverage
33rd 2012 Guangzhou China 56 Qiao Zhijian China [ext] coverage
32nd 2011 Matsue Japan 60 Bai Baoxiang China [ext] coverage
31st 2010 Hangzhou China 60 Song Hong-suk Korea, Republic Of [ext] coverage
30th 2009 Fukuroi Japan 66 Hu YuQing China [ext] full result
29th 2008 Tokyo Japan 68 Ha SungBong Korea, Republic Of [ext] full result
28th 2007 Tokyo Japan 68 Shan Ziteng China [ext] full result
27th 2006 Sasebo Japan 68 Hiraoka Satoshi Japan [ext] full result [ext] IGF report
26th 2005 Nagoya Japan 65 Hu YuQing China [ext] full result
25th 2004 Kurashiki Japan 64 Lee Kangwook Korea, Republic Of [ext] full result
2003 Not held due to SARS outbreak, see IWABC
24th 2002 Hida Takayama Japan 61 Fu Li China [ext] full result
23rd 2001 Hyuga Japan 56 Li Daichun China [ext] full result
22nd 2000 Sendai Japan 56 Sakai Hideyuki Japan [ext] full result
21st 1999 Oita Japan 55 Yu Chae-seong Korea, Republic Of [ext] full result [ext] pictures
20th 1998 Tokyo Japan 50 Kim Ch'an-u Korea, Republic Of [ext] full result
19th 1997 Sapporo Japan 46 Liu Jun China [ext] full result
18th 1996 Omachi Japan 46 Liu Jun China [ext] full result
17th 1995 Tokyo Japan 44 Hirata Hironori Japan [ext] full result
16th 1994 Kyoto Japan 43 Hiraoka Satoshi Japan
15th 1993 Fukuoka Japan 40 Sun Yiguo China
14th 1992 Chiba Japan 40 Kikuchi Yasuro Japan
13th 1991 Kanazawa Japan 39 Imamura Fumiaki Japan
12th 1990 Hiroshima Japan 39 Chang Hao China
11th 1989 Nagoya Japan 38 Che Zewu China
10th 1988 Tokyo Japan 36 Zhang Wendong China
9th 1987 Beijing China 34 Imamura Fumiaki Japan
8th 1986 Tokyo Japan 34 Chan Ka Yui Hong Kong
7th 1985 Tokyo Japan 31 Wang Jianhong China
6th 1984 Tokyo Japan 30 Wang Qun China [ext] full result
5th 1983 Osaka Japan 29 Ma Xiaochun China
4th 1982 Tokyo Japan 28 Cao Dayuan China [ext] full result
3rd 1981 Tokyo Japan 24 Shao Zhenzhong China
2nd 1980 Tokyo Japan 20 Imamura Fumiaki Japan
1st 1979 Tokyo Japan 15 Nie Weiping China

See also:

Amateur to Professional

The level of play at the WAGC is obviously quite high, and many of its amateur winners have gone on to become successful professionals (at some times, winning the WAGC could be rewarded with professional status):

Even some participants who didn't win went professional (please complete if you find more)

  • Yoo Chang-hyuk (9-dan) 1984 2nd place
  • Seo Jung-hwi (1-dan?) 2005 4th place (he was not an insei in Korea so he was eligible to compete, but had actually passed the professional qualifying exams by the time he played in the WAGC).
  • Ko Keun-t'ae (8-dan) 2001 4th place
  • Hong Malk-eun Saem (2-dan) 2000 3rd place, 2002 and 2004 2nd place
  • Tang Weixing (9-dan) 2006 2nd place
  • Diana Koszegi (1-dan) 1999 9th place, 2001 15th place, 2004 12th place
  • Sato Yohei (1-dan) 2010 8th place
  • Chen Cheng-Hsun? (2-dan) 2012 3rd place (participated for Chinese Taipei in WAGC, but became a professional affiliated with the Zhongguo Qiyuan in mainland China).
  • Ali Jabarin (1-dan) 2008 13th place
  • Eric Lui (1-dan) 2011 3rd place
  • Artem Kachanovskyj (1-dan) 2013 3rd place, 2015 7th place
  • Ilya Shikshin (2-dan) 2013 4th place
  • Pavol Lisy (2-dan) 2013 5th place
  • Mateusz Surma (1-dan)
  • Andrii Kravets (1-dan) 2016 4th place

Japanese and Korean Insei are not allowed to participate in the WAGC, but since the Chinese professional promotion system works differently, many future top professionals from China were officially amateurs and participated in the WAGC.

World Amateur Go Championship last edited by hnishy on December 6, 2022 - 02:04
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