As always, China’s Qiao Zhijian was in his seat ten minutes early. This time, he used those ten minutes to take a short post-prandial nap, while in the facing chair Korea’s Lee Hyunjoon carefully positioned his belongings and then passed the time by looking around the playing area. Behind him, at board 2, Chinese Taipei’s Chen Cheng-Hsun was also looking around, waiting for his German opponent to sit down. At board 3, DPR Korea’s Ri Kwang-Hyok and the U.S.A.’s Yuan Zhou were busily avoiding each others’ gaze. More relaxed were Hong Kong’s Chan Chihan and Singapore’s Lou Yuxiang at board 4.
When play began at 2:30, Serbia’s Mijodrag Stankovic needed less than 40 minutes to dispose of Australia’s David Bofinger. ‘Against a 5-dan opponent I chose to fight,’ said 2-dan David, ‘but it was the wrong fight to choose.’ Macau’s Chan Kouk-Wang (5 dan) was almost as quick in beating Spain’s Pau Carles (3 dan).
On board 1 Qiao immediately launched into the same Dosaku opening that he had used successfully in the morning round, once again playing his initial moves in less than one second each. The game took a similar course, with black (Qiao) securing considerable territory while white (Lee) constructed a framework, inside which he tried to destroy an invading black group. At one point it looked as if he had a fair chance of catching the invaders, but running wild inside opponents’ frameworks seems to be Qiao’s specialty, and as in his morning game, he successfully brought his invaders to safety. Lee resolutely switched strategies and tried to win on territory, but this appeared difficult. Toward the end of the game Lee started a ko on the lower edge, but by this time all the black stones were connected into a single group, and white did not have enough ko threats. Qiao won the ko, started another (indirect) ko that eventually Lee had to win to avoid losing the top left corner, and won the game by 2.5 points.
Elsewhere, the players from Chinese Taipei, DPR Korea, Japan, and Hong Kong successfully overcame opponents from Germany, the U.S.A., Belarus, and Singapore. DPR Korea’s Ri Kwang-Hyok will be the next to try to defeat Qiao Zhijian tomorrow morning. The low-teen duo from Chinese Taipei and Hong Kong are also in the five-win band, which means they are still in contention for the championship; they will play each other in the round 7. Another player in this band is Hungary’s Pal Balogh, who used the avalanche joseki to defeat Slovakia’s Pavol Lisy in round 6, and will face the Korean Lee in round 7.
In other notable results, Vietnam’s Do Kanh-Binh defeated Alexander Eerbeek. ‘I played like a 10-kyu,’ was the Dutch champion’s comment. In a match between two players who reside in Canada, French seed Remi Campagnie downed Canadian representative Xianyu Li. In games matching Europeans against Latin American opponents, Italy’s Carlo Metta, Switzerland’s Felicien Mazille, and Argentina’s Eduardo Lopez picked up their third wins by defeating Costa Rica’s Luis Cajiao, Colombia’s Carlos Acuno, and Austria’s Lothar Spiegel, while Ireland’s Colin MacSweeney picked up his second win by beating Brazil’s Nadeen Prem. And most notable of all, Fang Xiaoyan made this a perfect day for China by defeating Mongolia’s Bayarjargal Shartolgoi.
– James Davies