At 9:20 on September 3 China’s Yuqing Hu and Canada’s Bill Lin took their seats at the two boards on the left end of the front row in the playing area. Their opponents Kikou Emura (Japan) and Hyunjae Choi (Korea) arrived a few minutes later to complete the undefeated quartet. Ilya Shikshin (Russia) and Csaba Mero (Hungary), who had one loss apiece, took their seats at the center of the front row. All 56 players were in their seats when the chief referee Masaki Takemiya gave the starting signal at 9:30.
At 10:15 Bulgaria’s Aleksandar Savchovski collected his second win by beating India’s Soni Shah on a board near the right rear of the room. The two players played the game out to the end, counted the territories, and then recorded it as a win by resignation. Soon after, in the back row, Argyris Fellas (Cyprus) and Alexandr Bukh (Kazakhstan) scored their first wins by defeating the players from Nepal and Brunei Darussalam.
In the first two games to end in the front half of the room, Pavol Lisy (Slovakia) recovered from his two losses the previous day by defeating Martin Unger (Austria), and Shin-wei Lin (Chinese Taipei) recorded his fourth win by defeating Cornel Burzo (Romania). As the morning progressed, the players from Australia, Russia, Serbia and the Ukraine joined Shin-wei in the four-win group by beating opponents from Poland, Hungary, Belgium, and France, and Canada’s Bill Lin joined the group by losing to Korea’s Hyunjae Choi.
On the top board, the question of who Hyunjae would face in the afternoon round was being resolved, with considerable attention from the media and spectators. The game began with a ko fight and proceeded through more ko fights, ladder breaks, and other trades. It all made for an exciting spectacle, but Yuqing Hu (China) handled these exchanges adroitly and with imperturbable aplomb. Although Kikou Emura (Japan) maintained the intensity he had shown the previous two days, he found himself falling increasingly behind, and at about noon, with only a few moves left to be played, he resigned.
In the back half of the room, two other games had dramatic finishes. Merlijn Kuin (Netherlands) misinterpreted an indication on the clock and ran out of time in his last 30-second overtime period, thereby giving Javier Savolainen (Finland) a fourth win. And in a classic tale of tragedy, Francisco Pereira (Portugal) overlooked an atari while filling in the neutral points. ‘Sorry’ said James Hutchinson (Ireland) as he played a move that captured a hefty group of stones. The round then ended with a win by Franz-Josef Dickhut (Germany) over John Walch (Switzerland), and the players went upstairs for lunch.
– James Davies