The World Pair Go Association was set up during 2007 and founded on 29th May 2008,
to enable Pair Go to be promoted as a serious event and for it to
be part of the World Mind Sports Games in Beijing in October 2008.
WPGA Consitution (PDF)
International Amateur Pair Go Championship
With the aim of promoting Go among women world-wide the International Amateur Pair Go Championship (IAPGC)
was started in Japan in 1990. Now representatives of 22 countries and all regions of Japan come
together annually for this world championship, held each November in Tokyo. In addition there are separate
handicap groups (the Araki Cup) held along side that get in excess of 300 Japanese players.
In 1990 only Japan, China, Korea and Taiwan took part. In 1991 there were 12 countries as
France, Germany, Netherlands, Russia, UK, USA, Canada and Hong Kong joined. In 1992 two more European
countries were added on rotation (Czechia and Poland in 1992). For subsequent years 8 or 9 European
countries took part, with the four of the big five taking part on rotation and others selected to
take part with priority given to new countries and ones that had not played recently. From 2004 a
points system was introduced based on the country Go playing population size and the results in
the European Pair Go Championships (again with priority given to new countries). By 2006 some 35
European countries had taken part and by 2007 65 countries world wide.
The event came of age in 2009 with its 20th edition. As well as a demonstration pro Pair Go game,
there were awards for the biggest contributions to the promoting of Pair Go and an essay competition
won by Manja and Micha Marz from Germany with Pair Go May Change Your Life.
In 2014 the 25th edition was reached, with 30 promoters of world-wide Pair Go invited to
join in the celebration.
Until 1999 Japan had won most often (six times), having the home advantage of having several teams taking part,
but Korea has now won more than 10 times. China have won five times, North Korea twice and Chinese Taipei
(Taiwan) once. The most famous winner is Umezawa Yukari (now Yoshihara Yukari), who is now 5 dan pro, who won in 1994.
A feature of the IAPGC is always the best dressed couple prize, which helps encourage a smart turn out
from the competitors. In addition on the first day of the event the international competitors are encouraged
to wear national dress. This leads to some very bright and colourful costumes being seen, though of course
some of the countries struggle to work out what their national dress might be!
Pair Go Tee Shirt
Pair Go Song
As part of the celebrations of the 25th Anniversary edition, a new Pair Go pop song was introduced, a duet
with lyrics in Japanese with English transalation.
It is called Pair Go, My Dream.
International Friendship Match
Also on the first day an international friendship match is played, with partners drawn at random. As
well as the IAPGC competitors, various professionals and important Japanese players (such as Go journalists, trainers
and sponsors) take part. So you can find yourself playing against a 9p such as Mike Redmond or partnering a lady in
a beautiful Japanese kimono. This always is a pleasant and interesting time.
Results and Winners
For Europe, Hungary have had two places in the top seven: 7th in 1997
and an excellant 4th in 2003, when father and daughter Tibor and Rita Pocsai won 4 games out of 5.
Natalia Kovaleva and Dmitrij Surin from Russia won 4 games to come 6th in 2007.
In 2008 the 19th IAPGC was part of the World Mind Sports Games in Beijing. The top amateur team received the
title. It was open to pairs from any country and the top 6 European countries from the previous 9 IAPGCs
received official support (Russia, Hungary, Germany, Czechia, France and UK).
Yuki Shigeno's report on IAPGC 2005
Pair Go Promotion Partners
In order to encourage promotion of Pair Go around the world, the IAPGC players are afterwards encouraged
to sign up as Pair Go Promotion Partners. They are given the red PGPP passport book to remind them of what the aims of Pair
Go are. They are then expected to enthuse about Pair Go back in their own country, hence promoting the game.
Are enthusiastic about spreading Pair Go
Understand that Pair Go is a pair game for ladies and gentlemen who greatly value etiquette
Appreciate the pleasure of playing Go, yet believe a high level of playing ability is not necessary
Pair Go Around the World
As well as Pair Go in Europe,
one of the biggest Pair Go championships outside Japan is played in
America. In the Pair Go at the annual US Go Congress,
up to 100 players take part. The US has been starting other local Pair Go events, such is the popularity of Pair Go,
and has a Facebook page.
Many other countries also run Pair Go events and championships.
In March 2010 the first Pair Go World Cup was held in China
with 8 pro pairs from the Orient and 8 pairs from the rest of the
world; it was won by Rong Hui Song and He Xie of China.
Pair Go became part of the Asian Games from 2010 (the first event being won by Korea's Park Jeong Hwan
and Lee Seu La). It was also featured in the first Chinese Mindsports Games.
Pair Go also features in the World Mind Sports Games, won in
Beijing in 2008 by Fan Weijing / Hang Yizhong of China and in
2012 in Lille
by Osawa / Nakasone of Japan. The top game records from 2012 are on the
Pair Go has been held at the SportAccord World Mind Games since the first edition in 2011. Europe, North America,
and the four top countries get to play, but it is usually the home team of China that wins.
It was also part of the first IMSA Elite Mind Games in 2016.
- 2011 China (Li He / Piao Wenyao)
- 2012 Korea (Choi Jeong / Choi Chulhan)
- 2013 China (Wang Chenxing / Zhou Ruiyang)
- 2014 China (Yu Zhiying / Mi Yuting)
- 2016 Korea (Choi Jeong / Park Jeonghwan)
A booklet, The Path of Pair Go, was published in 2009 tracing the history
of Pair Go.
Of course the IAPGC is the senior Pair Go event of the year. You can read reports about some of the editions by following
the results links above.
Every year the best Japanese women professional players are allocated a top male professional partner for the Professional
Pair Go Championship.
The first such event was in 1994. Qualifying stages are nowadays played early in
December, followed by a final early in the new year. There is also a similar tournament in China.
Until 2009 this was the RICOH Cup.
In 2010 only the event was changed to select two pairs to take part in the new
Pair Go World Cup, launched
to celebrate 20 years of Pair Go.
- 2016 Wang Jing Yi (2 dan) and Murakawa Daisuke (8 dan)
- 2015 Koyama Terumi (6 dan) and Hane Naoki (9 dan)
- 2014 Yoshiro Kumiko (6 dan) and Iyama Yuta (9 dan)
- 2013 Xie Yimin (6 dan) and Kabayashi Satoru (9 dan)
- 2012 Xie Yimin (5 dan) and O Meien (9 dan)
- 2011 Xie Yimin (5 dan) and O Meien (9 dan)
- 2010 Ishii Akane/Sakai Hideyuki and Umezawa Yukari/Takao Shinji
- 2009 Kato Keiko (5 dan) and Hane Naoki (9 dan)
- 2008 Osawa Narumi (3 dan) and Cho Chikun (9 dan)
- 2007 Okada Yumiko (6 dan) and Yamada Kimio (9 dan)
- 2006 Suzuki Ayumi (3 dan) and Cho U (9 dan)
- 2005 Aoki Kikuyo (8 dan) and Mimura Tomoyasu (9 dan)
- 2004 Kobayashi Izumi (5 dan) and Yamashita Keigo (9 dan)
- 2003 Inori Yoko (5 dan) and Cho Chikun (9 dan)
- 2002 Inori Yoko (5 dan) and Cho Chikun (9 dan)
- 2001 Kusunoki Teruko (7 dan) and Yoda Norimoto (9 dan)
- 2000 Yoshida Mika (6 dan) and Tono Hiroaki (9 dan)
- 1999 Aoki Kikuyo (7 dan) and Honda Kunihisa (9 dan)
- 1998 Aoki Kikuyo (7 dan) and Honda Kunihisa (9 dan)
- 1996 Chinen Kaori (2 dan) and Yuki Satoshi (8 dan)
- 1995 Kobayashi Izumi (1 dan) and Kobayashi Koichi (9 dan)
- 1994 Konishi Kazuko (4 dan) and Hashimoto Shoji (9 dan)
Other Oriental Pair Go
Pair Go is also now starting to take off with the professionals of China and Korea. In 2012, the second SG Cup
in Korea was won by Choi Cheong and Yoo Chang Hyeok.
In April/May 2013 a Tri-Nation Pair Go Championship for professionals was held in Heifei
in China. The winners were Chenxing Wang 5p and Chang Hao 9p of China, ahead of Korea and Japan.
In late 2013 the four big countries competed in the Futian Cup in Shenzhen; the winners were Kong and Ma of China (ahead of Korea). Alongside a small amateur event for Pair Go promoters was won by Osawa and Matsuura of Japan ahead of China, and Europe (Natalia Kovaleva and Martin Stiassny) was third ahead of the USA.
The number of international tournaments has increased with at least three held in 2016.