This year’s World Amateur Go Championship will be held from May 24th-31st. The location for the event is 180 kilometers southwest of Shanghai in the well renowned city of Hangzou, China. The event is organized by the China Qiyuan, the Chinese agency responsible for board and card games, under the supervision of the International Go Federation.
This year’s tournament marks only the second time in the championship’s history that it will be held outside of Japan.
The last time the championship was held outside of Japan was 23 years ago and also took place in China. That tournament ended controversially with a three-way tie of 7-1 between Japan, China and Korea. The three contestants were also tied on SOS as well as SODOS. The Japanese player ended up victorious because of his win over China in the 2nd round even though he had lost to the Korean player (a full report of the tournament can be found here).
We can expect that everyone will be fighting hard for the prestige of this year’s championship as well.
Currently there are 65 players expected to participate, the youngest of which is just 11 years old.
The tournament will take place at the Hangzhou Tian Yuan Tower, which has strong Go relations, with some of the hotel’s decorations even related to the game. It is highly recommended for participants to check out Hangzou’s famous West Lake, which is currently vying for Unesco world heritage recognition.
The tournament rules have changed slightly this year. Instead of the 90-minutes time allowance followed by Canadian overtime, the new rules give a 60-minute time allowance followed by three 30-second byo-yomi allowances. Also, following suit with other recent major sporting events, awards will be given to the top eight players (rather than 10 as in previous years).
Ranka Online will provide full coverage of the 31st WAGC and, as in the previous edition in 2009, will be joined by the American Go E-Journal.
Good luck to all of this year’s contestants!
Here’s the brief schedule of the championship;
May 25 – (Tue.)
14:30 ~ 15:30 Orientation
17:30 ~ 18:30 Press Conference
18:30 ~ 20:30 Opening Ceremony and Reception
May 26~29 – (Wed. ~ Sat.)
9:00 ~ 12:30 Morning Round
14:00 ~ 17:30 Afternoon Round
May 29 – (Sat.)
18:30 ~ Closing Ceremony
May 30 – (Sun.)
10:00 ~ 12:00 International Goodwill Matches
The General Meeting of the International Go Federation will be held on May 25 from 15:30 ~ 17:30.
The detailed schedule can be downloaded here.
– Todd Dahlquist