The second round began at 1:30 at the direction of 9-dan referee Sonoda Yuichi of the Kansai Kiin. Three of the top-rated eastern countries now faced significant opposition: Korea’s Hyunjae Choi was paired against the USA’s Curtis Tang, Japan’s Kikou Emura against Hong Kong’s King-man Kwan, and Chinese Taipei’s Shin-wei Lin against the Ukraine’s Artem Kachanovskyi. The significant opposition did its best, but Choi won by resignation and Lin and Emura won by 6.5 and 7.5 points, respectively. China’s Yuqing Hu also won, defeating Slovenia’s Janez Janza, and Russia’s Ilya Shikshin defeated Malaysia’s Suzanne D’Bel.

In another triumph for the Far East, Singapore’s Jia Cheng Tan (6 dan) defeated Czechia’s Ondrej Silt (6 dan), but Europe bounced back when Csaba Mero (6 dan, Hungary) defeated Hao-song Sun (6 dan, Australia) and Merlijn Kuin (6 dan, the Netherlands) defeated Xuqi Wu (4 dan, New Zealand). In an all-European match, Cornel Burzo (6 dan, Romania) overcame Franz-Josef Dickhut (6-dan, Germany), and in a battle of shodans, Ngoc Cuong Nguyen (Luxembourg) defeated Christopher Welsh (South Africa). The upset of the day was scored by Vladas Zaleskas (1 dan, Lithuania), who downed Frederik Dahl (3-dan Norway).

Aside from this upset, the second round ended normally, but the pairings had become closer. In round three France’s Thomas Debarre will challenge the home-down favorite Kikou Emura while Russia’s Ilya Shikshin tackles Chinese Taipei’s Shin-wei Lin, Hungary’s Csaba Mero takes on China’s Yuqing Hu, and Singapore’s Jia Cheng Tan tangles with Korea’s Hyunjae Choi.

– James Davies

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