We took the opportunity to get to know some of the participants by posing the question:
What would you be doing today if you weren’t playing go?
Mario Miguel Agüero Obando (Costa Rica, 1 kyu)
Even were I not here today playing go, I would no doubt be using my brain. We go players share a common interest in mental challenges and that is what got me here. A lot of people don’t understand how go could be considered a sport – I suppose you don’t know until you try to focus on an important game while the clock is ticking. Nowadays the world is moving very quickly, but I love to take the time to read, to walk, to play chess. You might think this is to relax – but at times it can feel like a second job! Through go I have met many wonderful people and I am always pleased to see them at tournaments such as this.
Santiago Quijano Novoa (Colombia, 3 dan)
I can’t imagine life without it! Perhaps I would be out jogging, playing soccer, painting. When I was much younger (and slimmer!), I had an aggressive and argumentative approach to life, but through go I have channeled that to the board. I think this game gives you a beautiful perception about life and teaches respect for the opponent. As I said, I can’t imagine life without it!
Bill Tianyu Lin (Canada, 7 dan)
Probably swimming. I’ve been training for around 5 years now and am a keen triathlete. I started learning go about 10 years ago but have no teacher and have only been studying for a couple of hours each week.
– John Richardson; photos John Pinkerton