Burzo (right) playing Pavol Lisy

Cornel Burzo (Romania, 6d) was nowhere to be seen this morning, an empty seat facing his opponent Shin-Wei Lin (Chinese Taipei). That was until we spotted him across the room wrapping tape around a pair of spectacles belonging to an old friend Ondrej Silt (Czech Republic), whose glasses had fallen apart mid-game after being sat on the night before. Rivalry at the go board has not gotten the better of the friendly atmosphere in Sendai, and many players can be found enjoying a drink or a casual game in the evenings.

We caught up with Cornel in the lobby after his fifth game, where he shared his thoughts about the tournament so far.

I felt good about my game with Kikou Emura from Japan, clinching the lead but handing it back a few moves later. The Europeans are out in force this year, and I was pleased to have performed well against top 6 dans such as Franz-Josef Dikhut (Germany) and Pavol Lisy (Slovakia), a young player full of fighting spirit. My goal? Of course I will try for the top 10, ideally 5th or 6th if possible… we’ll see. The tournament itself has been difficult to fault – an exciting battle for the top spot, a great location and an opportunity to meet old friends.

A keen tennis and poker player, Cornel has a lot on his plate. We asked him how he spends the time he devotes to go each day.

Teaching takes a large chunk of my time – I can often spend 6-8 hours with students or otherwise reviewing game records. I love both teaching and playing. The past weeks have seen me preparing for the tournament: checking out the new book of Lee Sedol’s commented games, and getting some practice on Tygem and IGS. 

We look forward to watching Cornel’s progress over the rest of the tournament.

– John Richardson

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