After a three-hour lunch break, the pairs from Chinese Taipei and Japan returned to the playing room to take on the pairs from China and Korea. The game between China and Chinese Taipei would be televised, so Li He, Joanne Missingham, Piao Wenyao, and Chou Chun-hsun took their seats beneath the crane-like boom of the overhead TV camera. Li was wearing bluejeans. Piao, like Chou, was wearing a black suit and white shirt, open at the collar. The four started out by chatting and joking across the board, but as the starting time approached they fell silent.
At the other board Mukai Chiaki, Yamashita Keigo, Kim Hyemin, and Choi Chulhan were also silently awaiting the start of the game. The Koreans were in uniform. Ms Mukai had lost to Ms Kim in the team match yesterday, and her face wore a look that spoke eloquently of revenge.
The starting instructions were given by executive chief referee Wang Yi, and the games began. The pairs from Chinese Taipei and Japan played black. The Japanese pair again deployed the low Chinese opening. On both boards, the pace of play was much slower than in the morning round.
The game between China and Chinese Taipei finished first, before six o’clock. China’s Li He and Piao Wenyao were the victors, winning by two-and-a-fraction stones by Chinese counting. As in all the games, the counting was done by the referee.
In the game between Japan and Korea, the Korean pair captured the Japanese pair’s top left corner group, not a large capture but critical because it saved the surrounding white stones. From there, the Korean pair coasted to victory by five-and-a-fraction stones. Revenge was not to be had.
Tomorrow morning the Chinese and Korean pairs will play for the gold medal, while the pairs from Chinese Taipei and Japan battle for the bronze and the American and European pairs contest fifth place.
– James Davies