China Wins, Korea runner up, Hong Kong third, Finland’s Tormanen wins Fighting Spirit Prize. Three European countries in top ten.
Second WAGC win for Hu
“Yes, there is much more to this event than Go alone. The opportunity to meet so many people and make friends from many countries and cultural backgrounds, it’s great.”
From the press conference immediately after winning the 30th WAGC
Q: How did the tournament go for you?
Hu: The first two days were like warming up but than the game against Korea on the third day was incredibly intense. Actually it was the hardest game for me in recent years. On the last day (round 7-8) I was in good shape and played well.
Q: This is your second time at the WAGC, how did you feel about that and did you think that the field was stronger and have you yourself gotten stronger?
Hu: As I already had won the WAGC once the Chinese fans had really high expectations for me to win again this time. I must say that I sometimes felt the pressure!
Yes, the field definitely has gotten stronger. Not only the participants here, though. I think that worldwide the level seems to be getting higher. In order to win I also had to improve. Maybe not that much but I think I got a little stronger since the WAGC in 2005
Q: What do you think was the biggest reason you could win this time?
Hu Luck, skill and my own condition.
Q: How was the competition in China?
Hu: Very severe. The main tournament had over 150 participants. In Shanghai where I play alone there were thousands of people taking part in the preliminaries. It really is quite stimulating to compete with the insei and talented teenagers, you know that if you slack off, even only a little, you won’t survive.
Q: What is important about Go to you.
Hu: Well, there is the competition I enjoy and the cultural aspect and of course the philosophical side. Of the above I think that I like the cultural aspect best.
Q: We heard that you are a high level Bridge player, too. Are there any similarities between Bridge and Go?
Hu: Yes, there is of course the reading and the intense level of competition. However, the big difference is that in Bridge you share the responsibility for the outcome with your partner and in Go the responsibility for the outcome rests solely on your own shoulders. I like both Bridge and Go very much but I have to admit that I often quarrel with my Bridge partner!
– Round 8
At the beginning of the eighth round there was a busy gathering of players to be found in front of the result board. Most of them were doing the same thing, counting the number of wins of the opponents they’d played had. These so called SoS points are very important as in every WAGC there are a number of people with the same number of wins. SoS is than used to decide the final standings.
After Hu’s last win he obtained a perfect score and as he was the only one to achieve that feat we have a clear winner. For the final standing SoS points had to be used as there were quite a number of players with the same number of wins.
As every year, the last round of the WAGC shows us some very serious games. It’s not only the 6-pointers who give it their best in the last game, over the whole field you can find players who do not want to go home without the knowledge that they fought for every single point in the final game!
The die-hards this time were the games between the USA – Japan, Romania – Czechia, France – Canada, and Luxembourg – Hungary.
The games already finished ended as expected but the Belgium win by 2.5 over Russia was an upset. Belgium scored his hard earned 5th win.
While the last games were being played and tables were being cleared in order to make room for the closing ceremony Yoo representing Korea did an interview with the Igo&Shogi news crew. He told that this had been his first time to compete against foreigners from outside South East Asia and that he felt it was a very good experience. When asked about his most memorable games of the WAGC were he answered: “There are two games I won’t forget anytime soon, the first time being against China and the other one was against the player from the Netherlands.
Just when about this interview finished commotion broke out at the table where Canada played France. Forgetting to check his clock the Canadian representative had ran out of time and automatically forfeited the game. It was a close game but now the outcome had been decided by the rules instead of counting. The 16 year old from France had a very good tournament and Ranka is sure that we will hear from him again in the future.
Czechia beat Romania and Luxembourg pulled of a 1.5 win over Hungaria. The game to finish last (around 6 o’clock after 4 hours playing) was the Japan-USA match up which Japan won to end in the 5th place.
As Hu from China already pointed out, the field is getting stronger and stronger but, at least for this year, the original go playing countries in Asia still have a strong hold on the top spots.
Let us look forward to the 31th WAGC in China to see what will happen next.