Round 3

The rain that had fallen in earnest on the first day of the tournament had abated to a drizzle by the morning of the second day. The players’ hotel is only a ten-minute walk from the Shimane Prefectural Assembly Hall, but most of the players were glad to avail themselves of the bus provided by the tournament staff. All were in their seats by the 9:30 starting time.

Morten Ofstad

Morten Ofstad

Hironori Hirata

Hironori Hirata

Once again most of the spectators chose to watch the game of the Japanese player, Hironori Hirata. Yesterday they had seen him sail serenely past opponents from the United Kingdom and New Zealand, and this morning they expected him to do likewise against Morten Ofstad from Norway. For most of the game it looked as if their expectations would be fulfilled, but the Norwegian 4-dan did not give up easily and his perseverance was rewarded: a critical mistake in a life-and-death situation forced the Japanese 8-dan to resign. Mr Hirata accepted defeat with good grace and bowed in apology to his onlooking supporters.

The spectators then moved into the outer playing area to watch the game between Chi-hin Chan of Hong Kong and Tsung-han Wu of Chinese Taipei, which was still in progress. The outcome was impossible to predict: both players are young and strong, both represent territories where go is booming among the younger generation, and the position on the board was tense. After a thrilling endgame it was Tsung-Han Wu, clad in blue jeans, a plaid shirt, and a black vest and sporting earrings, who walked away the winner by a point and a half.
Ranka asked these two players how their game had gone.
Wu: It became very complicated and confused at the end, but somehow I came out ahead.
Chan: We were equally matched. We both made mistakes, but in the endgame I made one that cost me four points, and that’s why I lost.

In another 1.5-point finish, Choltit Rattanasetyut of Thailand defeated Xiang Zhang of Singapore. The Thai player led throughout the first half of the game, but victory did not come easily: the lead changed hands twice before the end.
These results left the players from Norway, Chinese Taipei, and Thailand undefeated. Joining them in the all-victorious group were Baoxiang Bai (China), Woo-soo Choi (Korea), Kamil Chwedyna (Poland), and Eric Lui (U.S.A.), who defeated opponents from Romania, The Netherlands, Spain, and Slovenia in round 3. The Poland-Spain game featured another remarkable opening. Playing black, Kamil Chwedyna placed his first four stones in a pon-nuki shape in the center of the board; then he fought his way to a 6.5-point victory. In the next round the players from China, Korea, and Chinese Taipei will tackle the players from Thailand, the U.S.A., and Norway.

- James Davies

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