WOF Council & committees

The history of the WOF

The World Othello Federation was founded in 2005, in Reykjavik, Iceland. The federation was founded by the trademark holder of Othello, Othello Co. and the two Othello reselling companies Anjar Co. and MegaHouse Co. together with the WOC Tournament Committee. 

BEFORE THE WOF (1977-2004) 

In the early beginnings of the board game there were three companies who ruled the Othello world:  Goro Hasegawa´s company Othello Co.; the trademark holder Tskuda Co. who sold the board game in Japan and sponsored the Japan Othello Association; and Anjar Co. who held the reselling rights for the rest of the world outside Japan. 
The companies created a WOC Tournament Commmittee (WOC-c) where Jim Becker of Anjar Co. was "chairman". Goro Hasegawa was also a member in the WOC committe.
Anjar Co. was responsible for 9 WOCs out of 10, the ones outside Japan. In 1977 the WOC-c decided that there should be a WOC schedule where Othello Co. would organise the WOC in Japan every decade, beginning in 1986. It was decided that Anjar Co. would organise the WOC every decade in the USA, beginning in 1991. This rule applied until 2016 when it was repealed. The Japan Othello Association was asked to continue to host the WOC every decade as an ongoing tradition.

Jim Becker created the WOC Tournament Director group (WOC-Td) in 1987 which became responsible for organising the WOC in Europe and the USA. The group was responsible for the WOC tournament rules. Members were experienced tournament directors from Europe and the USA.
Anjar Co. continued to decide tournament locations for the WOC, except the years when Othello Co. organised the WOC in Japan and the Japan Othello Association was responsible as Tournament Directors.

The 1990s
From 12 active countries in the 1980s, the number of countries organising Othello tournaments increased to 26 during the 1990s, which resulted in an increase of players participating at the WOC. The 1990s also saw the beginning of online Othello with several Othello playing sites created and online tournaments organised.
The International Internet Othello Association (IIOA) was founded in June 1996 by Hugo Calendar. The first IIOA board members were Hugo Calendar, Joel Feinstein, Serge Julien, Robert Stevahn and Kevin Hall. The IIOA shut down after a few years of operation, but showed the need for a world organisation that took responsibility for cooperation between all national federations and trademark holders.

The 2000s
The WOC TD-group organised the WOC every year as support to Anjar Co. and noticed in the beginning of the new millennium that it was time to begin the discussions with the companies about a real Othello organisation. An organisation was needed not only for the WOC but also to connect all the Othello federations worldwide.  The first discussions were held in 2003 in Stockholm, Sweden, with Jonathan Becker, Anjar and Goro Hasegawa, Othello Co.  

MegaHouse bought Palbox in 2004, which was the company that sold the Othello games in Japan. The discussions between the WOC TD group, Anjar and MegaHouse continued through email. In 2005 the discussions concluded and it was decided that the constituent meeting should be held in Reykjavik, Iceland, where the 28th WOC would take place.
The Othello Co president Goro Hasegawa, and Anjar CEO Jonathan Becker decided that as of 2005 the WOC Women's World Champion title should be added to the WOC. This was the last decision of the old WOC committee which was founded in 1977.

WOC Tournament committee group

Members Goro Hasegawa, Kabushiki Kaisha Othello 1978-2005
  Jim Becker, Anjar 1978-2001
  Jonathan Becker, Anjar 2001-2005
   , Tskuda 1978-1987
  Iwao Okoyama, (Palbox), MegaHouse 1988-2005


World Othello Federation (2005-today)

There were 21 national federations and three companies that participated in the constituent meeting to create the World Othello Federation. 
The meeting began with the unanimous approval of the proposal to start a world Othello association. The name of the organisation was decided to be "World Othello Federation".  
A proposal for statutes had been notified to all the national associations prior to the meeting. These statutes were created by the newly founded rules group, which consisted of the former WOC TD group under the newly founded organisation.
The approved statutes clarified that a board would be appointed. The board would consist of six members representing the national federations, and two members from the two companies that were the Othello trademark holders. The board members that were representing the national federations held the positions of president, secretary and treasurer. The companies' board members would be responsible for sponsorship.
The first World Othello Federation board members were Benkt Steentoft - President, Emmanuel Lazard - Secretary, Geoff Hubbard - Treasurer, Randy Fang, Yan Leong Woo & Tom Schotte as confederations members, Jonathan Becker - Anjar Co. & Masato Koide - MegaHouse. 
The WOF took over the WOC TD group responsibility to support Anjar Co. and organise the WOC. Anjar decided where the WOC should be held and sponsored it. The WOF would organise the WOC,  except when held in Japan where the organisation would be the responsability of Othello Co. and the Japan Othello Association.

After five years as WOF president, Benkt Steentoft decided to step down. At the 6th annual meeting in Rome, Italy, Randy Fang was elected as the second president of WOF.
The WOF board members were Randy Fang - President, Tor Birger Skogen - Treasurer, Francesco Marconi - Council Member, Jonathan Becker - Anjar Co. & Masato Koide - MegaHouse Co.

After two years as WOF president Randy Fang decided to step down. At the 8th annual meeting in The Netherlands, Tor Birger Skogen was elected as the third president of the WOF.
The WOF board members were Tor Birger Skogen - President, Benkt Steentoft - Secretary and Tournament Manager, Francesco Marconi - Treasurer, Lucas Cherem, Piamrat Kraikokit & Francesco Marconi confederations members.
The annual meeting decided to grant a proposal from Anjar Co. and MegaHouse Co. that stipulated that the companies should no longer be WOF board members, as of 2012 onwards.
The WOF was given full responsibility regarding the World Othello Championship. 

New statute proposals were granted.  It was decided that the WOF board should consist of a President,  a Secretary, an events manager, a Megahouse representative, the Asian confederation chairman, the European confederation chairman and the Pan-American confederation chairman.
At the 11th annual meeting the board members were Tor Birger Skogen - President, Benkt Steentoft - Secretary, Roger Gehrke - Events manager, Tad Maehata - MegaHouse, Hiroshi Kudo - Asian confederation, Tom Schotte - European confederation and Daniel Olivares - Pan-American confederation.
The WOF had a new agreement in place that detailed sponsoring of the WOF and WOC with MegaHouse. The WOF was to organise the WOC and also decide the host nation. MegaHouse was to sponsor the WOF Office. 

After eight years as WOF president Tor-Birger Skogen decided to step down. The 16th annual meeting was held as an online annual meeting because of the Covid pandemic. Guy Plowman was elected as the fourth president of the WOF.
The WOF board members as of 2020 are Guy Plowman - President, Benkt Steentoft - Secretary, Tom Schotte - Treasurer, Tad Maehata - MegaHouse. 
The full WOF council is the WOF board together with Hiroshi Kudo, Mirek Voracek & Moises Correia Jr as confederations chairmen and Jan de Graaf, Emmanuel Lazard and Tor Birger Skogen as committees chairmen.
At the 16th annual meeting the new WOF statutes were proposed. The new statutes were approved unanimously.

World Othello Federation Council

President Benkt Steentoft 2005-2010
  Randy Fang 2010-2012
  Tor Birger Skogen 2012-2020
  Guy Plowman 2020-….
Secretary Emmanuel Lazard 2005-2008
  Jonathan Becker 2008-2012
  Benkt Steentoft 2012-….
Treasurer Geoff Hubbard 2005-2008
  Randy Fang 2008-2010
  Tor Birger Skogen 2010-2012
  Francesco Marconi 2012-2014
  WOF council 2014-2018
  Tom Schotte 2018-….
Council Member Jonathan Becker 2005-2012
  Masato Koide 2005-2012
  Randy Fang 2005-2008
  Vidar Aas 2005-2007
  Yan Leong Woo 2007-2008
  Tom Schotte 2007-2009, 2015-2018
  Makoto Suekuni 2008-2010
  Milosz Cupial  2008-2009
  Linsue Panajaran 2008-2010
  Lucas Cherem 2011-2012
  Francesco Marconi 2011-2012
  Roger Gehrke 2014-2018
  Daniel Olivares 2014-2016
  Tadataka Maehata 2015-2020
  Emmanuel Lazard 2005-2007, 2020-....
  Tor Birger Skogen  2009-2010, 2020-2022
  Mirek Voracek 2012-2014, 2018-2022
  Hiroshi Kudo 2015-2022
  Moises Correia Jr 2017-….
  Jan C de Graaf 2020-….
  Ivan Chan 2022-....
  Pieter Thomas 2022-....
  Fürqan Khan 2022-....
  Galo Carrera 2022-....