The pair go competition shifted from round-robin mode into knockout mode this morning. Apart from the presence of professional players, the biggest change is in time control.
Each pair now has an hour of clock time, followed by the same 30-second-per-move overtime system as used in the other events. In the first knockout round, seven of the eight professionl pairs defeated their amateur opponents, but one amateur pair rose in rebellion: Kim Shin-young and Hong Seok-ui of the Republic of Korea defeated pros Konishi Kazuko and Imamura Toshiya of Japan.
The Kim-Hong pair came to this tournament with impressive credentials. Kim qualified by being the top ranked Korean insei. Hong won his way into the the World Mind Sports Games through a two-stage tournament among the top twelve in the Korean amateur rating system, and he also finished first at the European Go Congress in 2007 and second in 2008. In their next game, Kim and Hong will face two Chinese pros: Li He and Yu Bin.
The DPR Korean pair (Jo & Jo) came close to scoring a second amateur victory in their match against Lee Hajin and On Sojin from the Republic of Korea. Theirs was the last pair game to end; south prevailed over north, pro over amateur, by two and a half points. Lacking any professional pairs, DPR Korea is now eliminated from the main pair competition. In the next round Lee and On will take on Chang Kai-hsin and Lin Chih-han from Chinese Taipei, who defeated Japan’s Hiraoka pair.
In the last round of the men’s team event, the teams from China, Chinese Taipei, Japan, and the Republic of Korea again won all their games. Lee Sedol made his first appearance for the Korean team, defeating Bram Koster of the Netherlands. The teams from DPR Korea and the Ukraine coasted into the knockout round on 4-1 scores, defeating the teams from Russia and Serbia. The close match was the contest between Czechia and Romania for the eighth place in the knockout. Czechia emerged victorious by a 3-2 score: Ondrej Silt defeated pro 5-dan Catalin Taranu on the first board, Jan Simara defeated Cornel Burzo on the third board, and Martin Kuzela defeated Mihai Serban on the last board.
In the first round of the knockout this afernoon, the Czechs will face the unbeaten team from the Republic of Korea, and the Ukrainian team will face the unbeaten team from China. In the other two matches Japan is paired against DPR Korea and Chinese Taipei is paired against Hong Kong China.
– James Davies