Round 6 began after lunch on December 15, with the same eight players playing as in the morning. This was the round that would decide third, fourth, and fifth places. On the top board China’s Lin Chi-han was playing Korea’s Kang Dongyoon, the winner to proceed into the men’s gold/silver medal final, the loser to take the third-place bronze medal. On the next board China’s Chen Yaoye was playing Korea’s Park Jeonghwan, the winner to finish fourth, the loser fifth. Beside them a similar fourth-fifth place playoff was set up in the women’s division, Chinese Taipei’s Joanne Missingham playing Russia’s Natalia Kovaleva. On the last board, China’s Rui Naiwei faced Korea’s Choi Jeong in the women’s medal battle. Michael Redmond gave the players their starting instructions before heading to the YouTube broadcast booth to comment on the Kang-Lin game.
The Missingham-Kovaleva game ended in resignation by Kovaleva in a hopeless ko fight for the life of a very large group. ‘It was an interesting game for me,’ she said. Joanne Missingham’s comment: ‘I didn’t play well in the opening, but then Natalia didn’t play well in the middle game.’ The financial rewards in the women’s division are $8000 for fourth place (Missingham) and $6000 for fifth place (Kovaleva).
The men’s fourth-place-fifth-place playoff also ended in resignation, when China’s Chen Yaoye brought a beleagured group to safety in the center and captured one of the groups attacking it. The financial rewards in the men’s division are larger. Chen gets $16,000 for fourth place, while Korea’s Park Jeonghwan gets $10,000 for fifth place.
The women’s medal battle turned into a free-for-all in the center with both sides taking numerous captives. Rui Naiwei’s take was the larger and she proceeds into final round. Choi Jeong takes the bronze medal and $12,000.
The men’s medal battle is the only game that ended without massive capturing. Korea’s Kang Dongyoon won with room to spare, finishing 5-3/4 stones (11.5 points) ahead. Chinese Taipei’s Lin Chi-han wins the bronze medal and $30,000.
The final matches for the gold and silver medals will be an all-Korean affair, Choi Chulhan vs Kang Dongyoon, in the men’s division and an all-Chinese affair, Li He vs Rui Naiwei, in the women’s division. Play starts at 3:00 p.m. on December 16.
- James Davies