American Go Association

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The American Go Association (AGA) was founded in 1935, to promote the board game of Go in the United States.[1] Founded by chess master Edward Lasker and some friends at Chumley's restaurant in New York City, the AGA is one of the oldest Western Go associations.

The AGA publishes a weekly online newsletter that reaches more than 13,000 subscribers worldwide, The American Go E-Journal, and an annual Yearbook; maintains a national rating system; organizes an annual national event, The US Go Congress; selects North American representatives in international tournaments; and provides support to its members and chapters as they promote Go in their communities.

Events for youth have also been established, including tournaments and an annual AGA youth summer camp that features instruction from professional players; the AGA has developed a set of rules that attempts to reconcile difference between "area"-based rule sets and "territory"-based rule sets, and participates actively in an international committee, trying to establish a unified worldwide set of rules.

As a member of the International Go Federation, which in turn belongs to SportAccord, the AGA is the official organization responsible for managing and promoting Go in the United States.

Publicity and exposure[edit]

President Barack Obama's administration contacted the AGA for an American-made Go board etched with the presidential seal and signature, the gift given on November 17, 2009 to China's President Hu Jintao.[2]

Whilst the US go community were buzzing about getting exposure, and the BBC covered the event on its Newsnight programme[citation needed], the US press did not really pick up the story, except the Chapel Hill Herald, the local paper where the board was made.[3]

The association and its aim of finding the first professional American Go player were heavily featured in the 2018 movie The Surrounding Game.

Professional System[edit]

In December 2011, The AGA partnered with the Korea Baduk Association and the Korean go server Tygem to promote a new professional players system for the US.[4] Tygem agreed to sponsor and be the broadcaster for the 2012 professional certification tournament.[4] In addition, several Asian professional tournaments have invited AGA professionals to compete.[5][6]

The certification system is open to both US citizens and Canadian citizens via invitation pending the residency requirement and qualifying as a finalist.[4]

AGA Professional players[edit]

Professional status in Go is customarily for life; the dates below indicate when the players were granted professional status.

  • 2012: Andy Liu 1P and Gansheng Shi 1P[7]
  • 2014: Calvin Sun 1P[8]
  • 2015: Ryan Li 1P[9]
  • 2016: Eric Lui 1P[10]

AGA City League[edit]

The City League is an AGA tournament where teams from different cities play each other in a league system, on the Pandanet server in the AGA room.

The teams consist of up to five players, out of whom three are selected to play in each round.

The current rules are listed on Pandanet.[11]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Laird, Roy (2001). "Go in America - a history of the American Go Association" (PDF). The Proceedings of the First International Conference on Go. Department of Go Studies, Myongji University, Seoul, Korea, 5-11-12. Archived from the original (PDF) on July 18, 2011. Retrieved 28 November 2012.
  2. ^ "A Gift Between Nations - Frank's Board". 27 November 2009. Retrieved 1 January 2015.
  3. ^ "GO IN THE NEWS: Carrboro Carpenter Crafts Go Board for Obama Gift". 14 December 2009. Retrieved 1 January 2015.
  4. ^ a b c "AGA Professional System". Retrieved 3 March 2015.
  5. ^ "Andy Liu 1p Wins Exchange Match, Plays in Sankei Cup Game Sunday Night". Retrieved 24 July 2016.
  6. ^ "New AGA Pro To Play in First Korean Tournament". Retrieved 24 July 2016.
  7. ^ "Gangsheng Shi Wins to Join Andy Liu as First AGA Profesionals". 2012. Retrieved 11 January 2015.
  8. ^ "Calvin Sun Edges Out Bill Lin in Dramatic Final to Win AGA Pro Tourney". 2014. Retrieved 11 January 2015.
  9. ^ Garlock, Chris (2015). "Ryan Li Sweeps Final to Win 2015 AGA Pro Victory". Retrieved 11 January 2015.
  10. ^ "AGA Professional Results 2015".
  11. ^ "Pandanet-AGA City League Rules Year 3". Pandanet. October 7, 2014. Retrieved October 25, 2017.

External links[edit]