Fifteen minutes before the start of round 3 on May 13, Qiao Zhijian, the main Chinese contestant, was already seated at his board. After defeating opponents from Italy and Singapore in the first two rounds, he would next face the player from Macau. The other players took their seats a little before the 9:00 starting time. Once again Hua Yigang and Yang Shuang gave the starting instructions in Chinese and English, and play began.
The playing area is roughly square, with five rows of six boards each. On the board in the top left corner of this area, Azerbaijan’s Bahadur Tahirbayov played his first black stone flat-side up, belly-side down. Dimitris Regginos, his Cypriot opponent, smilingly turned the stone over so that it was belly-side up, which is the Chinese custom. In the top right corner of the playing area, Japan’s Nakazono Seizo and Korea’s Lee Hyunjoon commenced play under the watchful eyes of a dozen of Mr Nakazono’s fans, who had come over from Japan to lend moral support. In the bottom right corner of the playing area the two youngest players, Chen Cheng-Hsun from Chinese Taipei and Chan Chihin from Hong Kong, went to work against Finland’s Juri Kuronen and Canada’s Xianyu Li.
The Azerbaijan-Cyprus game continued at a deliberate pace, but on the diagonally adjacent board South Africa’s John Leuner and China’s second player Fang Xiaoyan, a go instructor who teaches the most popular children’s class at the Guangzhou Qiyuan, were playing briskly. John built up a 20-point lead and Xiaoyan resigned. ‘I expected to be crushed by having her kill one of my groups, but they all lived,’ John said. ‘She is not as strong as I feared. Now that I’ve won a game, after underperforming in the first round, where I lost to Colin MacSweeny from Ireland, who is ranked 1 kyu, and then being outclassed by Remi Campagnie in the second round, I feel better.’
The Finland-Chinese Taipei game also ended fairly quickly, in victory for Chinese Taipei. ‘I did my best,’ was the Finn’s wry comment. On the adjacent board Hong Kong was equally successful against Canada. Far Eastern low-teen power remained unbeaten.
The players from DPR Korea and China stayed even with them by beating opponents from Macau and Austria, and on the top-left board, Dimitris scored his first win by beating Bahadur, the Cypriot shodan overcoming the Azerbaijan 6-dan.
In the Japan-Korea match, for the second straight round Nakazono Seizo found himself in difficulties, and this time he was not able to extricate himself. Then after losing his confrontation with Lee Hyunjoon, he had to confront his assembled supporters. ‘Don’t worry,’ he told them with exemplary sang-froid, ‘It’s not over yet.’
One of the most interesting matches of round 3 was the game between Cornel Burzo and Pavol Lisy. Cornel, the Romanian go instructor, proved superior to Pavol, the Slovakian student, by 3.5 points, but Pavol did not give up without trying one last invasion of Cornel’s largest territory, which failed; then he filled the last neutral point.
After this game ended, only the contestants from Bosnia, Germany, Serbia, Sweden, Thailand, and the U.S.A. were still playing. Serbia’s Mijodrag Stankovic was the first to concede defeat, resigning to Thailand’s Saechen Panjawat. Sweden’s Martin Li played his game out to the end but lost by 8.5 points to Germany’s Benjamin Teuber. Shortly afterward, Bosnia’s Dragan Paunic lost by 17.5 to the U.S.A.’s Yuan Zhou, and the round was finished in time for the players to board the 11:30 bus for lunch at the Baiyun Hotel.
Only seven players still remained undefeated, and six of them will meet each other in round-4 matches this afternoon: China vs Hong Kong, DPR Korea vs Romania, and Chinese Taipei vs Czechia. The seventh undefeated player, Korea’s Lee Hyunjoon, was drawn down by the computer to play Slovenia’s Leon Matoh. Two other key round-4 matches will be France vs Hungary and Japan vs the U.S.A.
- James Davies; photos by John Pinkerton
文James Davies / 译 陈婷婷