Ilya Shikshin

After months of build-up, go players from Argentina, Canada, China, Czechia, Chinese Taipei, Hungary, Japan, Korea, Russia, and the United Kingdom began arriving in Beijing around December 10 for the SportAccord World Mind Games. The first event on their schedule was an evening meeting on December 11 at which they drew for the all-important player numbers that would decide their pairings during the games. After some welcoming remarks by Japan’s Technical Delegate Shigeno Yuki and a review of ther rules by the chief referee, China’s Hua Yigang, the drawing began.

First was the draw for the men’s individual competition. China, Korea, Japan, and Chinese Taipei, which had taken the top four places in last year’s team competition, seeded two players each to draw for player numbers 1, 4, 5, 8, 9, 12, 13, and 16, after which the remaining eight players drew for the remaining eight numbers. The results were as follows. In the first round on December 12, number 1 plays number 2, number 3 plays number 4, and so on.

Men’s individual competition

1 Park Jeonghwan, Korea
2 Csaba Mero, Hungary
3 Jan Hora, Czechia
4 Uchida Shuhei, Japan
5 Chen Yaoye, China
6 Fernando Aguilar, Argentina
7 Fujita Akihiko, Japan
8 Lin Chi-han, Chinese Taipei
9 Murakawa Daisuke, Japan
10 Ilya Shikshin, Russia
11 Tuo Jiaxi, China
12 Choi Chulhan, Korea
13 Lin Chun-yen, Chinese Taipei
14 Kang Dongyoon, Korea
15 Tianyu (Bill) Lin, Canada
16 Jiang Weijie, China

The competition will be run as a double knockout with a playoff for fourth place. Seven rounds will be played, one round per day. The sole undefeated player after four rounds gets a bye in rounds five and six, then meets the winner of the repechage knockout in the final round on December 19 to decide 1st and 2nd places. The runner-up of the repechage finishes 3rd. The two defeated semifinalists in the repechage play the game that decides 4th and 5th places in the sixth round. In all 31 games will be played: the four players who lose their first two games play only two apiece, four of the top five finishers play seven games, and the average player plays 3.875 games.

Attention in the first round focuses on the three games between far eastern players. China’s Tuo Jiaxi drew Korea’s Choi Chulhan; both are medal contenders. Japan’s Fujita Akihiko drew Chinese Taipei’s Lin Chi-han and Korea’s Kang Dongyoon drew Chinese Taipei’s Lin Chun-yen; the outcomes of these two games will say much about Chinese Taipei’s medal prospects.

Natalia Kovaleva (right)

The women’s individual competition is similarly organized with seven rounds, but with only twelve constenstants only four were seeded, and the seeded players (numbers 1, 6, 7, and 12) get a bye in the first round. Here are the results of the draw:

Women’s individual competition

1 Park Jieun, Korea
2 Irene Sha, Canada
3 Su Sheng-fang, Chinese Taipei
4 Rui Naiwei, China
5 Natalia Kovaleva, Russia
6 Mukai Chiaki, Japan
7 Joanne (Jia-jia) Missingham, Chinese Taipei
8 Vanessa Wong, Great Britain
9 Choi Jeong, Korea
10 Okuda Aya, Japan
11 Rita Pocsai, Hungary
12 Li He, China

The drawings for the mixed doubles pair-go competition were aso held, with these results. The three-round pair knockout starts on December 18.

Pair-go competition

1 Choi Jeong & Choi Chulhan, Korea
2 Irene Sha & Tianyu Lin, Canada
3 Vanessa Wong & Jan Hora, Europe
4 Joanne Missingham & Lin Chi-han, Chinese Taipei
5 Mukai Chiaki & Murakawa Daisuke, Japan
6 Natalia Kovaleva & Ilya Shikshina, Russia
7 Rita Pocsai & Csaba Mero, Hungary
8 Li He & Jiang Weiji, China

– James Davies


The Players Arrive — 1 Comment

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