The first games of the 36th World Amateur Go Championship began at half past nine this morning in the Grand Ballroom of the Montien Riverside Hotel in Bangkok, Thailand. Chief referee Michael Redmond 9p announced the start of play alongside the other referees Youngshin Lee 5p and Jinhoon Kim 4p.
A highlight of the first round was Indonesia’s 12-year-old Rafif Fitrah 4d stealing a surprise victory from Ondrej Silt 6d (Czech Republic). The young Indonesian quickly gained a lead in territory in return for Silt’s thickness and proceeded to succeed in some ambitious invasions. Despite losing a group himself, Fitrah gained momentum for a decisive attack against Silt’s stones on the opposite side of the board.
This was perhaps the only major upset of the day as both Rounds 1 and 2 concluded with few surprises. Refuelled by a lunch of Pad Thai, the players reconvened at 1.30pm for the second set of games of the day. The majority of match-ups concluded relatively early in the afternoon, first with Azerbaijan’s Bahadur Tahirbayov 6d reaching a winning endgame against Peruvian Leon Rios Joels 1d in just over twenty minutes. Tomorrow will be an exciting day as the title contenders begin to face each other. The top five seeded players are still without any losses.
See this link for the full results of Rounds 1 and 2. Pairings for Round 3 will be kept secret until the morning.