(from the left) Qiao, Lee and Chen

Round 8 began with a detailed explanation of the anti-doping procedure. Five players would be tested: the top three finishers, and two others selected at random during the final round. This explanation was given in English by IGF director Martin Finke and interpreted into Chinese by Zhang Wei, who then went over the schedule for the next day in both English and Chinese. When they had done, chief referee Hua Yigang gave the instructions for the final round to start, slightly after the scheduled time.

On board 1, China’s Qiao Zhijian played more deliberately against Germany’s Benjamin Teuber than he had in the preceding three rounds against opponents from Chinese Taipei and the two Koreas. As in those rounds, his game attracted the most attention from the spectators and it came to the expected conclusion. Qiao won to finish in first place with a perfect 8-0 record.

Kuronen (left) and Balogh

The game between the Chinese Taipei’s Chen Cheng-Hsu and Korea’s Lee Hyunjoon on board 2 then became a contest for second place. The contest was close, and the winner was Lee. Chen finished third, his 90 SOS points putting him well ahead of the other players who ended up in the six-win band. Those other players were Hong Kong’s Chan Chihan, who beat Russia’s Igor Popov to finish fourth, North Korea’s Ri Kwang-Hyok, who beat Thailand’s Saechen Panjawat to finish fifth, Hungary’s Pal Balogh, who beat Singapore’s Lou Yuxiang to finish sixth, Finland’s Juri Kuronen, who beat Romania’s Cornel Burzo to finish seventh, and Japan’s Nakazono Seizo, who beat Bosnia’s Dragan Paunic to finish eighth. Of their defeated opponents, Lou Yuxiang, Benjamin Teuber, and Cornel Burzo finished ninth, tenth, and eleventh, not high enough for an award but certainly deserving of an honorable mention.

Other honorable mentions go to Czechia’s Lukas Podpera, who defeated the U.S.A.’s Yuan Zhou to tie Cornel in 11th place, Denmark’s Jannik Rasmussen and Vietnam’s Do Kanh-Binh, who defeated Slovakia’s Pavol Lisy and Canada’s Xianyu Li to tie for 13th place, and Italy’s Carlo Metta, who finished with two straight wins to tie Saechen Panjawat for 15th place, the highest WAGC finish ever for an Italian player.

Carlo Metta

Carlo was also one of the two lucky winners of the random selection process for the anti-doping test. The other lucky winner was Colombia’s Carlos Acuna, who won his last two games to finish 34th. Carlo and Carlos were privileged to join Qiao, Lee, and Chen in attesting to the doping-free character of the WAGC.

Overall, the tournament was an impressive display of teenage power. Seven of the top twenty places went to teenage players, including all of the top four. Go seems to have a bright future, and not just in the Far East.

– James Davies








文James Davies / 译 陈婷婷

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