Ranka: How were your games in the open event?
Mori: All seven games were real contests. In the second round I was matched with a player from the Republic of Korea (Ham Youngwoo) and played better than I usually do, but lost by two and a half points. That was the game I really needed to win. Later I got wiped out by a player from DPR Korea (Jo Taewon).
Ranka: And how were your other games, against opponents from Europe, North Africa, and Southeast Asia?
Mori: They all made me work to win, especially the player (Teng Boon Ting) from Malaysia in the last round. Compared with the World Amateur Go Championship last year, I had the feeling that the general level of play had risen. Of course that’s a welcome development, but I can see that I’m going to have to improve my own level too. These players didn’t always play what would be considered good moves, but their moves turned out to be hard to refute. I had the feeling that I was being exposed to a different set of values about the game. But aside from my own games, what really impressed me was seeing a Chinese player (Fan Yunruo) lose to a player from outside the far east (Ilya Shikshin from Russia) in block A. That was really a professional-level performance. That’s where I realized how good the rest of the world has become.
Ranka: Do you have any comments on the organization of the tournament?
Mori: This was the first time I’ve taken part in a tournament like this, with different games being played. It must have been very difficult to organize, but I think it points the direction toward possible future developments. There could be biathlon tournaments, for example, where you played both go and bridge, or played other combinations of games. This may be what Japan needs, because while go is expanding in other countries, it’s undergoing a contraction in Japan. These World Mind Sports Games are in a sense an initial experiment, but the concept of mind sports is significant. I think that here in Beijing I may be seeing a glimpse of the future.
Ranka: Thank you.