Category: Other

AGA Tournament Rules

These rules are the minimum for running and managing a tournament.  A Tournament Director should add to these rules to address the specifics of their tournament conditions.

AGA Tournament Rules v6

March 2022

The AGA has Go Clocks that can be hired for tournaments.  Please contact the Secretary for more details.

If you need clocks for playing time consider using iPhones and “Simply Game Clock” from the App store.  Details can be found here



On-line tournament protocol

AGA Online Go Tournaments

The advent of AI and strong Go playing programs gives rise to the possibility of cheating, especially during an online tournament where there are no witnesses.

Accusing a person of cheating is a major step and needs to be supported by hard and fast evidence.  Simply saying, a professional player thinks you were using an AI program is nowhere good enough.  Similarly, for the person playing the game to say “I didn’t use an AI program, I thought it was a good move” is not good enough either.

The 2020 Korean Prime Minister’s cup introduced a protocol where the players were required to set up a video recording of the room where the games was being played.  If requested that video could be viewed by the tournament organisers and any issues resolved.  This solution gave certainty and was only a minor inconvenience to the participants.

On-line tournament protocol

The tournament director and referee for any Australian Go Association recognised tournament must include the following conditions in the entry process.  Participants who cannot agree to the terms will not be included in the event.

The conditions for participants is as follows:

  • For each game, a player must set up a video camera (or smart phone) and record each game as it is played.
  • The video content must cover the side of the room with the computer and surroundings and be uninterrupted for the whole game.
  • The computer application (Tygem, WBaduk, OGS, KGS etc) must have the sound of the stones being played turned on and the recording must include sound.
  • The player must not wear a headset of have other communication devices in the same room.
  • Each video recording must be kept for at least 1 week after the end of the tournament.
  • If requested by the Tournament Director or Tournament Referee the player must supply the original unedited video.
  • The Tournament Director and Tournament Referee will determine the outcome of a disputed game in the same way as face to face tournaments.

Note:  AGA recognized tournaments attract AGA ‘rep-points’.  If you are organising a club or friendly event these protocols are optional.

International on-line tournaments

International online tournaments will have their own rules and processes which are not controlled by the Australian Go Association.  If you are playing in such an event you must comply with the event rules and regulation.

To help avoid disputes in International events the Australian Go Association strongly recommends using the above protocol and retaining the video evidence to all AGA members.


Check list to start a Go club

Starting a Go club is not hard, the following checklist can help but they key is creating something that can last.  So make sure you have somebody to lead, preferably two people just in case of illness.  Schedule the meeting for a practical day or week and at a frequency you can maintain over many months and years.  If your only problem is equipment, teaching materials or a teacher contact the AGA Secretary –

The list is as follows:

  1. Person to lead
    1. Somebody who will decide things
    2. Somebody who will act as a single point of contact
  2. A place to meet
    1. The home of the leader
    2. BBQ and other tables in a local park
    3. A friendly coffee shop
    4. The local library
  3. A meeting time
    1. Something that is regular
    2. Weekly or monthly – it does not matter
  4. Equipment – go sets
    1. One set per two players
    2. Ask the people to bring their own sets
    3. Charge a small entry fee and use that to buy more sets
    4. If you are starting from scratch, contact the AGA Secretary
  5. Advertising – getting people to come
    1. Word of mouth is best – invite your friends
    2. Print leaflets and put them in letter boxes or on notice boards in libraries. supermarkets or shops
    3. Create a Facebook group and invite your friends
  6. Entry fee
    1. Charge enough to pay for the meeting place
  7. Teaching
    1. Everybody who can play can teach beginners
    2. For teaching resources contact the AGA Secretary (
  8. Luck
    1. Get a couple of bucket fulls and use it sparingly
    2. Don’t despair when people don’t come or recognise the effort – that’s life
    3. Good luck!

Ratings and Rep points (as 2023)

Representative Points System

The AGA Committee has sole responsibility for the selection of all international representatives and the committee decisions are final.

The AGA Representative points system is used by the AGA Committee to select Australian National Representatives at overseas international tournaments where the organisers request a national representative at their event.  This includes  the World Amateur Go Championships, the Korean Prime Minister’s Cup and any other tournament where an Australian player and AGA member represents the Australian Go Association in an overseas tournament.

Where a national representative is requested, the AGA Committee will use the following criteria to create a priority list of qualifiers based on:

  1. the person’s qualification for the event (top priority)[1]
  2. the person has earned Representative Points by participating in an AGA event in the last four years (second priority)[2]
  3. the person’s total representative points (third priority) and
  4. if two or more people are within 50 representative points the committee will consider contributions to the aims of the AGA and/or a play-off match (for tie-breaking).

The committee will offer the place to the top qualifying person.  If that person refuses or does not respond to the offer within 4 days, that offer will be withdrawn and the Committee may choose to offer the place to another person.

Points are accrued in the following manner.

  1. Participants in the Australian Open Championship are assigned Representative points according to their placing, as determined by number of won games,


Place 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13+
Points 2000 1700 1400 1200 1000 800 700 600 500 400 300 200 100

However only members of the AGA at the start of the Tournament accrue these points to their Representative Point account.

In an Accelerated Swiss tournament, the Accelerated Score of a player (Wins+initial Acceleration) shall  be used in place of just Wins, to determine Representative Points earned.

2.Tie-breaking for earning of Points

All players on equal number of wins in a tournament shall receive an equal share of the available points (thus if 4 players are on equal number of wins after the top 3 placings, they share the representative points for 4th, 5th, 6th and 7th placings).

Points will be recorded as whole integers, rounding to the nearest integer (10.4 becomes 10, 10.5 becomes 11).

3.Deduction of points for representation and depreciation of points

  1. An AGA member who is an Australian citizen holding the highest total number of points is eligible for selection as the Australian representative at the next international tournament.
  2. Should that person refuse the offer the AGA committee will select an alternate player.
  3. The selected representative will have points deducted from their representative points.
  4. The reduction in points will occur where the event is:
    • A face-to-face overseas tournament where accommodation and airfare are subsidies by the tournament organisers, or
    • where the participant gains substantial benefit from competing (whether the event is online or face-to-face).
    • The reduction in representative points varies according to the number of times the candidate has previously represented Australia at an overseas international tournament:


No times 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7
Deduction 5000 8000 12000 17000 23000 30000 38000 47000

Note: this is a triangular increase.

  1. The AGA Committee may vary the rep point deduction and will notify candidates at the time of the selection process.
  2. Immediately after the close of the Australian Open Championships, all accumulated Points for all players with a positive number of Points will be reduced by 20%; negative Points will appreciate by 20% (towards 0); the deduction of points from the Points of the selected representative, and any penalties accrued during the year will then be applied.
  3. Representative Points deducted from a player’s Points on account of selection for an international tournament shall be deducted at the time the Committee confirms the selection. If the selected player cannot attend the tournament, the points may be restored when, and only if, a substitute player is confirmed.

4. Other tournaments

Representative points may be earned also by players in tournaments other than the Australian Open Championship, provided the tournament has been so approved in advance by the AGA Committee.

To qualify for Representative Point awards the tournament organiser must:

  • Advise the AGA committee of the event as least 1 month ahead of the event and request inclusion in the rep points system
  • Advertised the event throughout Australia with reasonable advance notice
  • Allow all AGA members to participate
  • Have reasonable playing time limits (minimum 20 minutes plus 3×30 seconds byo-yomi
  • Comply with the AGA tournament rules.
  • Any section of a tournament must have at least 6 players to qualify for representative points.

Representative points will be awarded in such tournaments according to the following formula

  • for each section of the tournament with more than 6 players, the number of players in the section (TN), and the total “Dan Strength” (TD), that is, the number obtained by adding the dan ranking of all players of dan rank, are determined. For sections of a McMahon tournament, these numbers are calculated by including all players paired with players in that section.
  • For the National Championships tournament the weightings shall be
    • 100% for the top non-handicap section
    • 50% for other non-handicap sections if TN ≥ 6
    • 20% for other handicap sections if TN ≥ 6
  1. For other approved tournaments the weighting shall be

(i) for non-handicap sections

30% if TD ≥ 48

20% if 32 ≤ TD ≤ 47

10% if 6 ≤ TD ≤ 31

(i) for handicap sections

10% if TN ≥ 12

5% if 6 ≤ TN ≤ 11


  1. otherwise no points shall be awarded.


5. Penalties

A player who forfeits a tournament game in an international tournament without giving the tournament director notice and reasonable cause may have up to 5000 points deducted from their accumulated Representative Points for each forfeited game or be banned from representing Australia for a period determined by the AGA committee.  The player may appeal to the AGA Committee for consideration of mitigating circumstances.

The AGA Committee reserves the right to reduce a player’s representative points or ban them from representing Australia. This is to deal with situations where a person brings the game or the AGA into disrepute.

6. Resolution  of disagreements

Disputes will be referred to the AGA Committee, if the dispute is not resolved there it will be managed through section 11.1 of the AGA Constitution.

 This document approved by the AGA Committee – 14th March 2023

[1] Tournament organisers sometimes require specific requirements e.g. a tournament for students. The AGA also has qualification requirements e.g. AGA membership, no current ban.

[2] Only current active players are selected.


Known Go Suppliers

The contact information below is to help people find Go sets and books.  The Australian Go Association is not associated with, nor do we recommend any of the suppliers.

PacifiGo (Brisbane southside)

Contact: Allan Hunt (
Sells: Affordable go equipment – bamboo boards, plastic and glass stones.
Location: Mail order or pick up at the Brisbane Go Club.
Open: Business hours Australian Eastern Standard Time

Institute 361 (Perth)

Contact: Silvia Lozeva (, 0406 097 868)
Sells: “Quality Institute 361 Go sets and Go products, AI Go Boards and Go lessons for all levels”
Location: Institute 361.
Open: 24 hours online.

Kimono Quilt Australia (Victoria)

Contact: Bill Camp (
Sells: Refinished floor Gobans, wooden bowls, slate and shell stones, all from Japan. Full description on the website.
Location: Mail order (items shipped from workshop near Geelong).
Open: Internet hours

Board ‘n Stones (Books)

Contact: Search Amazon using “Gunnar Dickfeld” for current titles – or from Go Books
Sells: Go books, with a particular focus on problem books for intermediate and beginners.
Location: Based in Germany
Open: Internet hours



Known Go Teachers in Australia

Younggil An 8P (Sydney)

Contact: An Young Gil (, 0401399827)
Location: Professional in residence at the Sydney Go Club, teaches there and via the internet.
Teaching: Lectures, group classes and Internet, one-to-one tutoring in go
Speaks: English, Korean

William Qian (Sydney)

Contact: William Qian (, 0401-292-598)
Location: Kingsgrove
Teaching: group classes & individual tuition specialising in young players; William also runs a club for children on Sunday afternoons
Languages: Chinese, English

Daniel Li (Sydney University)

Contact: Daniel Li (, 0490-335-219)
Location: Chatswood, Sydney University
Teaching: one on one and group classes
Languages: English, Chinese

David Mitchell (Sydney)

Contact: David Mitchell (, 0413-080-900)
Location: Cronulla; Sydney Go Club Surry Hills; Online
Teaching: one on one, group classes and Internet, monthly beginners classes at Sydney Go Club
Languages: English

Tom Chen (Sydney)

Contact: Tom Chen (
Location: Killara
Teaching: Children and people under 18
Languages: English, Chinese

Way to Go (Melbourne)

Contact: James Kaaden (, 0408 560 459)
Location: Victorian Go Club, or we come to you!
Teaching: One on one and group lessons
Speaks: English

Magic Go  (Brisbane)

Contact: Elizabeth (
Location: Brisbane
Teaching: Beginner to 3kyu
Languages: English


AGA Rating System

AGAGoR Ratings Overview

These ratings are calculated according to a slight variant of the European Go Federation’s GoR algorithm, which in turn is basically an Elo rating scheme: each player is assigned a numerical rating; the probability of a player winning any given game is assumed to depend only on the difference in the ratings of the two players (allowing for handicaps changing rating by 100/stone; games on more than 6 stones are ignored). The ratings of the two players are adjusted slightly according to the outcome of each game in a tournament (the rating is assumed constant throughout a single tournament); the adjustment is larger for lower ranked players to allow for the greater variation of weaker players. The player’s initial rating is determined by their initial claimed rank 2100 for 1 dan, 2000 for 1 kyu etc. The adjustments are set so that the ranks correspond to a range of +/- 50 points; thus a 1 dan would expect to have a rating in the range 2050-2150.

In order for the algorithm not to inflate ratings over time, and to prevent wild oscillations for kyu players, some (ad hoc) limitations on a single game rating change are imposed (see the EGF web page for a complete description of the statistical theory and the parameters used). To allow for the fact that players strength may change radically between appearances at a tournament, if a player at a tournament claims a ranking difference of 2 stones or more (200 rating points) from their current rating, they are given a new rating based on their claim (which makes the mathematical theory behind the scheme dubious, but does make the final numbers seem more reasonable but note that it makes them reasonable in the sense of corresponding with Australian ratings, which for middle dan players seem to be about 1 stone stronger than Japanese rankings, 1 to 2 stones weaker than EGF, and about the same as American). Because we have far fewer tournament, some other (ad hoc) variations have been introduced, the main one being that if the indicated change for one more players as calculated over a tournament is larger than a threshold (50) then the ratings for that tournament are recalculated with the indicated players being assumed to have changed their ratings initially; this is actually done in a number of steps with the players with very large indicated changes being modified first. This is iterated until the maximum change is less than the threshhold (but in order to ensure convergence the maximum change for any individual player is decreased on each iteration).Secondly, a maximum initial rating of 2600 (6 dan) is assigned; strong players must earn their higher ratings (ideally all players should start with the same initial rating, and allow the system to work out relative levels; but we do not have enough games for this.

Two effects make the raw ratings conservative. The first is the maximum initial rank mentioned above. Secondly, there is a smaller difference in playing strengths at the top of the table (the difference between a 6d and a 7d player is less than 1 handicap stone). These factors tend to reduce the ratings of these players and thereby push lower ranked players down. To counter this effect, the Calibrated Ratings columns adjusts all ratings upwards so that one anchor player (Andrew Chi, a very strong player who tragically died) is set to 2800; this seems to give reasonable
results. (An alternative view would be that the raw ranks correspond approximately to EGF ratings.)

Note the Rank column is the rank as claimed at the most recent AGA tournament. Ratings calculated over a small number of games are not meaningful. Ratings reflect playing strength at the last tournament not in current club play; and players may well have quite different strengths under different conditions such as club or internet games.