they are basically the same although the elephants cannot cross the river, the commander and councilors cannot leave the palace, and the cannon must shoot over another piece to capture otherwise they are like western Chess
They are not, but there is an argument to be made that their existence is part of the reason why Western chess has only one ruleset.
It’s hard to unify the rulesets of go because of tradition but also because of diplomacy. Japan is never going to accept “from now on, everyone uses Chinese rules”, and China is never going to accept “from now on, everyone uses Japanese rules”.
On the other hand, I could imagine the European and American go federations coming to an agreement and unifying the AGA, British and French rules, and calling those the “Western rules”. Because there is a lot less cultural attachment to these rules, and they are already almost identical except for some superko details that no one cares about.
It would still be great to have a “Standard Go Rules”, even if you don’t call it by a country’s name.
But rules is only one thing. Before that comes, it could be great to have a unified Go organization, which can provide a unified ranking etc. I can’t help but thinking this really hurts the game’s growth and visibility.
On the other hand one should not underestimate the factors of revanchism and national pride in the development of Korean and Chinese Go during the 20th century as a way of getting back at Japan and I would guess that the success of Korean, Taiwanese, and Mainland Chinese Go also prompted the Japanese attempts to revitalize and popularize Go (e.g., Hikaru no Go)
You can still have national pride in your national go players though. Supremacy of a country over the other may be even more apparent if there was a unified ranking and official world competitions to compare them.
Well absent a world go federation it’s hard to have it being official, but in the current world I’d say at least being consensually recognized as the reference championship by the go community.
The criteria you listed are just the basic minimum for an international tournament, and are satisfied by many others (Samsung cup, LG cup, Ing cup, Chunlan cup…). There’s nothing that set this one apart from others, other than its marketing decision to brand itself as “BC Card World championship” instead of “BC Card cup”.
At least the others have some history, this one lasted four years and gone.
As of June 2012 the IGF has 74 members on all continents.
Europe counts 37 members, Asia 17, the Americas 15, Africa 3 and Oceania 2. The total number of players is well over 40 million, the overwhelming majority in East Asia.
True, but the IGF’s power is very limited. At least it helps organizing events like the Amateur World Championship that was mentioned above.
But for the professional scene, it’s in the hands of each national federation.
At the european level (rather than world), the EGF is another attempt at unifying many national Go federations. It works pretty well. While it does not enforce a single European ruleset, it at least runs the European tournaments, runs its professional program and provides a unified European ranking.