Qualification System of The World Championship

There are many of you wondering how does the qualification system of the world championship really work. What should the player do to get to the finals of World Championship. The information below gives the clear guidelines for that.


The A-final is the round robin tournament with 12 players who play 11 games during the tournament. The winner of the tournament will get the title of the World Champion. Before the beginning of the tournament the 12 players have to be decided first. Below is the table that illustrates how the 12 seats are taken.

1The Winner of last World Championship
2National Place for last WC 2nd place
3National Place for last WC 3rd place
4National Place for last WC 4th place
5National Place for last WC 5th place
6National Place for last WC 6th place
7National Place for last WC 7th place
8The 1st place of Qualification Tournament
9The 2nd place of Qualification Tournament
10The 3rd place of Qualification Tournament
11The 4th place of Qualification Tournament
12Organizing Country or The 5th place of QT


  • The Winner of last World Championship - the world champion of the last WC can go directly to the A-final without having any need to join the National or International Qualification tournaments.
  • National Place - There are seats that are given to a Nation, not to a player particularly. The national federation of the country will decide which player gets the seat. Usually, the democratic principle is followed, and the country will arrange the National Qualification Tournament and that will determine the player who gets the Seat.
  • National Place for last WC 2nd place - it means, that the Seat will belong to the nation whose player got the 2nd place in last WC
  • Qualification Tournament - means, the International Qualification Tournament that is usually held a few days before the WC
  • The 1st place of Qualification Tournament - means, that the 1st place player from the QT will get the seat in A-final
  • Organizing Country Seat - it is given to Organizing Country if that country has failed to get any National or Personal Places from previous WC. When such situation occurs, only the 4 seats are given to the best players of Qualification Tournament.
  • Cancellations - if the owner country of the Seat 1-7 cancels its participation, the seat is added to the QT seats group.
  • Limitation - any RIF member has not more than three National Places and any other country no more than one National Place in A-final. Any Seat that is over the seats limit is given to other countries as National Places based on last World Championship places 8-12, and if the Seat is still available, then it is given to the QT seats group.

Sometimes A-final is mistakenly called Men's World Championship. However it is a mistake. The World Championship sets no limits to the age or gender. So, a female player or a child may play freely in A-final is one gets the valid seat.


This is a tournament that is usually played in Swiss system with as many players as the limitations allow. The best players of the QT will get the seats in A-final. The number of the best QT players who get the Seats in A-final depends on the situation of A-final Seats. Usually there are 5 seats given to the best QT players. However, the number may be 4 or greater than 5 in some cases (see the explanations above).
The QT is played a few days before the beginning of A-final, usually in the same location as A-final.
Below are the rules that explain who have the right to play in QT.

  • Each RIF member country gets 3 National Places in QT, but if the country already has some National Places in A-final, the number of QT seats is reduced according to the amount of National Places of A-final. For example, if a member country has 2 National Places in A-final, then the country will only have 1 National Place in QT.
  • Each non RIF member country gets 1 National Place in QT, unless the country already has the National Place in A-final.
  • The three best players of the Open Tournament (BT) will have Personal Places in QT.
  • All the players from special RIF Top 20 list can take part in QT
  • In case of odd number of QT players, the organizing country will add 1 more player to QT, to make it even.


The International Open Tournament is a tournament with lots of players, played usually in Swiss System, at the same time as the A-final. This tournament offers no titles, however, there is a benefit for top 3 of the tournament: The top 3 players will earn Personal Places for the next International Qualification Tournament (QT). Anyone has a right to play in BT without any limits. No matter if the player or old or young, beginner or strong player - all are welcome! Open Tournament is like a renju party that entertains all the people during the 7 days while A-final is going.
Usually those who play in QT but do not succeed to reach to A-final, they will play in BT instead. Since it is quite unofficial tournament (except for the rule about the rights of top 3), the organizers have full rights to decide how the tournament is to be carried out, as long as it is played, of course, by the RIF renju rules.