Although he’d just barely finished a hard game against Mongolia inbetween round 3 and 4 Garcia Bustamante made some time for us to talk about himself and go in Mexico.
Ranka: This is your first time participating in the WAGC, what is your general impression so far?
Garcia Bustamante: I’m really happy that I can be here as a representative for my country, I’m grateful for this chance and would like to take this opportunity to thank the people and the organization who made the WAGC possible.
Ranka: How many years have you been playing go?
Garcia Bustamante: I started playing when I was 15, seven years ago.
Ranka: What made you interested in playing go first?
Garcia Bustamante: there was this movie “Pi” I watched and made me interested. After seeing that movie I discovered that my neighbor had a go board laying around. So, remembering the movie I thought it would be interesting to see what the game is all about.
Ranka: What is interesting about go for you?
Garcia Bustamante: In go you try to read ahead as far as possible, this “reading” part fascinates me. I think it is comparable with, for example, trading and doing business. You take a little and you get a little and in the end you try to be left with the most.
Ranka: How did you get ahead in go, did you have a teacher?
Garcia Bustamante: At first it was mainly thanks to the neighbor with the go board that I could learn about the game. I would go over there practically everyday to play a game or two. That went on for about two months. After that I discovered go on the net and studied by playing online.
Ranka: Could you tell us what you feel you gained by playing go?
Garcia Bustamante: Go is first of all just a great hobby to have. You never grow tired of it, and like I said, the reading aspect is great and interestingly I think the reading ablity you pick up from playing go is to some extend also applicable in everyday live. Go can in a way be looked at as representing live.
Ranka: Did you make many new friends through playing go?
Garcia Bustamante: Yes, sure. Especially at university, that is.
Ranka: How many go players are there about in Mexico?
Garcia Bustamante: About a hundred, I guess.
Ranka: Do you usually meet people to play or do you play online.
Garcia Bustamante: We have a club but only get together once every two months, Usually there are about 10 people present, sometimes more, sometimes less. I think that a lot of us fill the time in between and use the internet to satisfy our hunger.
Ranka: Are there any female players at this club, too?
Garcia Bustamante: No
Ranka: So, that means that there is no pair-go in Mexico?
Garcia Bustamante: Some time ago there was one girl but we haven’t seen her for a while so perhaps she quit.
Ranka: What are you going to be in the future?
Garcia Bustamante: After graduation I’d like to continue doing research.
Ranka: You mentioned that you study mathematics at university, does in your opinion go have things in common with mathematics?
Garcia Bustamante: Well, I feel that I use the same part of my brain involved with math as well as go. But for me there is no clear way to apply math concepts to go. So, although there are some similar aspects I actually do not think that math and go have that much in common. At first I actually felt the opposite but not anymore.
Ranka: Did you prepare yourself for the WAGC in any special way?
Garcia Bustamante: Yes, playing many games on the internet. I also replayed pro games but not that much.
Ranka: In your game against the USA you were doing quite well according to Michael Redmond. You let the game slip a bit when playing at 48.
Garcia Bustamante: Ah, yes, yes, I’m very aware of that.
Ranka: Good luck in round 4!