The morning’s rain gave way to a brisk afternoon wind that rattled the flagpoles outside the Ecopa Arena, but except for the few who braved the elements to avail themselves of the smoking area outside the entrance, none of this affected the players at the 30th World Amateur Go Championship. Inside the arena, attention centered on the game between Moriei Kanazawa (age 51) of Japan and Naisan Chan (age 16) of Hong Kong China. Chan had the best of the opening, but Kanazawa fought back to a quite playable position in the middle game, raising the hopes of the mostly-Japanese spectators. In the endgame, however, Chan surged forward again and won by 6.5 points.
In another key game, Shin-hwan Yoo of Korea rolled on to his fourth victory, defeating Kang-ting Yeh (age 17) of Chinese Taipei. In a third all-far-eastern match, 2005 champion Yuqing Hu of China ended the unbeaten streak of Jia-cheng Tan (Singapore) by beating him by 12.5 points. The last game to end, well after 5:00 p.m., was the match between the remaining two undefeated players: Csaba Mero of Hungary and Dmitriy Surin of Russia. Here it was Mero who strolled nonchalantly away from board, having won by 5.5 points to remain unbeaten. He and Hu will play each other in the next round.
The Chan-Kanazawa and Mero-Surin games were two of only four games in the fourth round that were decided by margins of less than ten points. Another of these close games was a rank-upset: Anh-tuan Tran, 2-dan, of Vietnam picked up his second win by defeating Per Marquardsen, 3-dan, of Denmark by 9.5 points. In the fourth close contest, between players both ranked 4-kyu, the always-smiling Nicholas Roussos of Cyprus scored his first win of the tournament by defeating Siarhei Korbut of Belarus.
– James Davies