The press conference of the 26th provided us with a glimpse at the way of thinking of a few selected participants.
14 year old Matej Zakanj was kind enough to extend a little bit on his answer to the question “What should you do to become stronger?”
Ranka: During the press conference you said that you feel it is important to “put yourself on the board” but at the same time you told us that you also feel that getting emotionally involved is to be avoided. How do you match those two statements?
Zakanj: Oh, that is easy. I mean, it is important to be yourself when you play a game, not imitating or trying to adopt a style which isn’t your own. Play the way you feel comfortable with, that is what matters most in my opinion. At the same time, of course, not letting your emotions take over is important, too.
My goal for this WAGC is to get at least 4 wins or more. This is my second time here and the first time I ended 39th with 4 wins. I’d like to improve on that result.
Ranka: Good luck!
During the same press conference the representative from China stole the hearts of the Japanese press by answering like this:
Press: What do you like most about the game of go?
Hu: Well, for me Go has much to do with philosophy, I like to think of the game in that way very much.
Press: What should people do to get better at go?
Hu: That question I’d like to answer by quoting (the recently deceased) Fujisawa Shuko. “To get stronger at go you must have the spirit, the willpower to get stronger”
Afterwards Hu talked with us about the great Fujisawa Shuko.
Ranka: Did you actually play a lot of Fujisawa Shuko’s games for studying?
Hu: Ah, yes. But not only me. I’m positive that there are many players in China and also in Korea who have studied master Shuko’s games. His ideas are amazing, I admire his style very much.
Ranka: Could you tell us in a few words what kind of ideas you mean?
Hu: (smiling) Hmm, that’s easier said than done. When going over Shuko’s games I really try to capture his ideas and grasp his style but, to be honest, most of the time his thinking proves to deep for me. Shuko’s profound understanding is something special, most of the time it’s just over my head.
Ranka: Thank you for your time and good luck tomorrow!
Although the representative of Japan, 51 year old Moriei Kanazawa also was asked the same questions the press conference had to be cut short as the organisation was running behind schedule. During the rush for the opening ceremony (and the buffet) Kanazawa had this to say to Ranka:
Kanazawa: Getting stronger? Well, play a lot of games and try to play as many of those games as possible with strong players, that is to say, players who are stronger than yourself.