Last Thoughts – Part 1

After the World Amateur Go Championship ended, Ranka asked about half the players and two directors of the International Go Federation for their last thoughts about the tournament and their results.

Naisan Chan (Hong Kong, 4th place): I was disappointed because I hoped to finish second but instead I finished fourth, worse than last year. It is good to have the tournament in a new city every year because you can learn new things.

Ondrej Silt (Czechia, 5th place): It was a good tournament, well organized, and in a good hotel, although not in a good location. If anything was missing, it was a room where the players could socialize. We did have a room in which to play go after hours, but there was no beer available. Finishing fifth was not bad, because I got six wins. Five wins would have been a bad result. My last-round game? Song was super-solid from beginning to end. I had no chance.

Pal Balogh

Pal Balogh

Pal Balogh (Hungary, 7th place): Personally, this tournament was a disaster. I did not play my best. Losing to Aguilar was particularly unsatisfying. I was happy to meet the player from DPR Korea, but I played very badly; I didn’t show him my best game. As for finishing seventh, it was the highest place for any Hungarian player so far, so at least I can say that I did not come here for nothing, but I don’t take it too seriously. The tournament is a festival.

Yongfei Ge (Canada, 10th place): I think I could have done better. I had no chance against the player from the player from DPR Korea, but I think I could have won my games against the players from the Republic of Korea and Hong Kong. In both of those games I got off to a good start, then lost in the endgame. But I like to play strong opponents, so I’m not unhappy, and I think the draw was fair.

Thomas Hsiang (USA, 12th place, IGF Director): It was very good. We had high hopes, and China made it everything we hoped for and then some. The pairing system was very dynamic, better than the system used before. If there had been ten rounds it would have been perfect; then there would have been no accidents. I also liked the tie-breaking system. Of course I’m not satisfied with my own results, but what was absolutely great was the emerging new IGF structure, and the plans of the new IGF president for the future.

Alexei Lazarev (Russia, tied for 13th place): It was a very nice tournament, even better than the one in Beijing. I really like the city of Hangzhou. My tournament results? They were not so good, but not so bad. I can be satisfied.

Leszek Soldan (Poland, tied for 13th place): I did more or less as well as I expected. Long ago, I would have been dissatisfied with this result. Now it’s OK. But I think I could have done better. I was jet-lagged and sleepy. Still, I’m happy about all my games except that disaster against the Japanese player in the last round. I played that game in a dream, like a zombie, half-dead and half-alive.

Christoph Gerlach

Christoph Gerlach

Bernhard Scheid (Austria, tied for 16th place): It was interesting to hold the tournament in a different city this year. The organization was good and the organizers were very generous. This was one of the best experiences I have ever had. The pairings were dubious, however, and I would have appreciated more commentaries on the games. I know I am nothing to write home about as a go player, but I would still like to be taken seriously as a go player.

Christoph Gerlach (Germany, tied for 18th place): The hotel was perfect and I have no complaints about the organization, but the playing conditions could have been improved: the pairing system, the chairs, and the clocks. When several clocks were reading out byo yomi at once, it was difficult to tell which clock was yours. I didn’t come here to win the tournament, so I can’t complain about my results, but I would have been more satisfied if I had met more players my own strength. There were only three games that were matched evenly enough that either player could have won. There were many players in the tournament with ranks similar to mine, so I expected to get five such games.

- Ranka

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