In the sixth round all interest centered on the game between the two remaining undefeated players from China and Korea. In the preceding rounds Shin-hwan Yoo of Korea had already defeated two strong far eastern opponents, from Hong Kong China and Chinese Taipei. For his part, Yuqing Hu of China had beaten strong opponents from Czechia and Singapore, and of course he had been world amateur champion in 2005, so whoever won this game would be well on his way to winning the tournament.
The players played slowly and deliberately. Yoo took the lead and maintained it steadily, but Hu also played steadily, waiting for a chance to come. In the meantime, two strong players from eastern Europe were going down to defeat: Csaba Mero of Hungary lost by half a point to Longyang Li of New Zealand, and Cheorghe Cornel Burzo of Romania lost by 4.5 points to Juyong Koh of Canada. This earned Koh a place in the one-loss group, together with Naisan Chan of Hong Kong China, who beat Eric Lui of the U.S.A., Moriei Kanazawa of Japan, who beat Thomas Debarre of France, and Kang-ting Yeh of Chinese Taipei, who beat Laurent Heiser of Luxembourg. Also joining this group was Jia-cheng Tan of Singapore, who continued his winning ways by beating Viktor Lin of Austria.
Many of the players who finished their games thronged around the top board, which was now in the late middle-game stage. Yoo still seemed to be in the lead. As the crowd grew and the adjacent boards emptied, several of the players, referees, and staff began following the Hu-Yoo game on the computers that had been set up to record the now-finished games. Eventually Hu and Yoo were surrounded by about twenty-five standing onlookers, while another fifteen were seated, glued to the nearby computer screens.
On the verge of sewing up a sure win, Yoo slipped by missing an easy sente capture and Hu got his chance. From this point on the two players continued to play slowly and carefully, but Yoo was visibly uneasy while Hu was a picture of calm composure. Only one other game was still in progress, and in time that ended too, with Dominik Mueller of Switzerland defeating Maria Aguero of Costa Rica to score his second win of the tournament.
Hu andYoo continued to take their time, especially Yoo, who seemed to be searching unsuccessfully for a way to catch up. The game came to a peaceful end at 6:15. When it was counted, Hu (white) was 2.5 points ahead. The expressions on the faces of the two players betrayed nothing until Hu broke into a smile when Mario Aguero extended a congratulory handshake, and Yoo also smiled when given a consolatory pat on the back by Juyong Koh. Then the crowd filed out to catch the last bus back to their lodgings at Kakegawa.
– James Davies