Top 8 Rules (2023)


This document is version 8 of the rules of the Irish Go Championship.

Changes to the previous set of rules are:

Top 8 Tournament Rules

1. Eligibility

1.1 The Irish Championship is open to all Irish citizens, and to citizens of other countries who have been legally resident in Ireland for a minimum of two years.

1.2 Representatives from Ireland to the World Amateur Go Championship (WAGC) must hold an Irish passport. Hence, a citizen of another country participating in the Irish Championship, under rule 1.1., would need to naturalise as an Irish citizen before representing Ireland at WAGC.

2. Qualification

2.1 The four top finishers in the Top 8 from the previous year automatically receive an invitation to the Top 8.

2.2 The remaining places are filled from the Qualification tournament. The Qualification tournament takes the form of a double elimination tournament, to be played online.

2.3 Seeding for the Qualification tournament is by rating according to the European Go Federation database.

2.4 Games are played under the rules outlined in Section 3 below.

3. Top 8 Tournament

3.1 The Top 8 tournament takes the form of a double elimination tournament. Except in extraordinary circumstances, the Top 8 shall be played in person.

3.2 Seeding for the Top 8 is in order of finishing position in the previous year’s Top 8 (for the invited players), then finishing position in the Qualifying tournament (for those who advanced from the Qualifying tournament.)

3.3 Time limits for the games are 60 minutes each per game with Japanese overtime (byo-yomi) of five periods of 30 seconds.

3.4 Games are played without handicap, colours determined by nigiri.

3.5 Komi is set at 6.5 points for white.

3.6 All games are played according to the ruleset used by the International Go Federation’s WAGC rules.

3.7 The winners of the two elimination brackets play a best-of-three-game Final, with time limits of 90 minutes plus Japanese overtime (byo-yomi) of five periods of 60 seconds. These games may be played online.

3.8 Colour is chosen by nigiri in the first game of the Final, and reversed in the second. Colour is again chosen by nigiri if there is a third game.

3.9 The winner of this Final is declared the Irish Champion.

4. Playing Online

4.1 Online games shall be played on OGS. Optionally, subject to the agreement of both players, games may be played on another server.

4.2 Online games are played under the rules described in Section 3.

4.3 Both players should retain a record of such a game, in the event of a dispute arising.

5. World Amateur Go Championship (WAGC) points

5.1 On completion of the Championship, WAGC points are awarded to a maximum of eight eligible players in reverse order of elimination from the tournament. 8 points are awarded to the last-eliminated, with 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1 points awarded to the next eligible players. Where multiple eligible players are eliminated in the same round of the Championship, the points for those places are pooled and shared evenly among the players, rounding fractions to the nearest whole number. A bonus point is awarded for reaching the Final, and a second bonus point for winning the Final.

5.2 A player is eligible to receive WAGC points if they are an Irish citizen, or have commenced formal proceedings for naturalisation as an Irish citizen.

5.3 Points accumulate year-on-year until a player represents Ireland at the World Amateur Go Championship (see 5.5. below).

5.4 On receipt of the invitation, the player from the most recent Championship tournament with the most accumulated points (who need not be the Irish Champion) is offered the opportunity to represent Ireland at WAGC.

5.5 On representing Ireland at WAGC, a player’s accumulated total of WAGC points is reset to zero.

5.6 If two or more players are tied on the same number of points, the preference is for the player who has not previously represented Ireland at the WAGC.

5.7 If both have previously represented Ireland at the WAGC, then the player who earned the larger number of points in the most recent Championship receives the offer.

5.8 A player may decline the offer without penalty, in which case the opportunity is offered to the remaining participants in the most recent Championship, in order of accumulated points.

5.9 In the event that none of the entrants to the Championship is available to play in the WAGC, the IGA Committee will select a player (using whatever criteria it deems appropriate) to represent Ireland in that year.

5.10 A player who receives no WAGC points in five consecutive years loses all of their accumulated points.

6. Rules Committee

6.1 In all matters of interpretation of these rules or of issues not covered above the Irish Go Association Committee has the final decision.

6.2 In the event of a first-time entrant to the Championship becoming the Irish Champion, the Committee has the option (but not obligation) to offer the winner the opportunity to represent Ireland at the WAGC regardless of the accumulated points.

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