34wagc_JavierThis is my third international tournament. The first was the Nanning Go Tournament in 2011, in China. Most of the players were from Southeast Asia—Cambodia, Laos, Brunei, the Philippines—but there were also players from Germany and the USA. The second was the 2011 International Amateur Pair Go Tournament. The 2013 World Amateur Go Championship is the first major international tournament I’ve played in.

I started playing go when a friend introduced me to the game. Our university has a Philippines-Japan friendship club, so we were exposed to Japanese culture. After he told me about the game he taught me how to play, and then I started learning it by myself. While I was a student I was playing four or five times a week. Now that I’m working, doing market research, I play only two or three times a week. But even when I’m not playing, when I’m commuting or on break, I study the game from books. Now, when I get home I play on the Internet, a little on W-Baduk and more on KGS. And also, in Manila, where I live, we have a small school where we teach go. We have about 15 to 20 adults and about the same number of kids. The strongest kid is around 2 dan.

– James Davies; photo Toshiko Ito

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