The first Othello tournament was the Japan Othello Championship in 1973. Four years later, in 1977, the first World Othello Championship (WOC) was held in Tokyo. Five players from five countries attended. The first World Champion was Hiroshi Inoue. From 1977 to 1987 each Federation could send the National Champion to the WOC. From 1987 each federation could send three players. From being a tournament with just 5 to 9 players, the WOC grew and in 1987 there were 21 players. 1987 was also the first year of the Team World Championship.
After that there were around 40 players at each WOC. From 2002, the number of participants increased to around 50-60 players. The reason was that the number of active Othello countries increased. In 2004, it was decided that each federation had the right to send an additional female player. That made the number of WOC players increase slightly and the number of participants was around 60 players.
Starting with WOC 2016, each WOF member can send an additional youth player. The same year there were 84 players in Mito and WOC tournament management believes that the number of participants will soon be over 100 players.
Since its inception in 1977 with five active countries, the Othello world has grown. Today, there are around 70 countries where Othello is played. What the WOC will look like in the future, we do not know yet.
Here you can find information about upcoming WOCs as well as the history of the WOC. Enjoy!