Pair Go Round 1

Hungary (left) vs China

The pair-go competition in the 2012 Beijing SportAccord World Mind Games was held, like the men’s and women’s individual competitions, on the second floor of the Beijing International Conference Center. Michael Redmond, deputy tournament director, gave the opening instructions for round 1 at 9:30 a.m. on December 18. Ms Taki of the

Pair-Go Association was also in attendance. Four far-eastern pairs were paired against four pairs from outside the far east: Li He and Chen Yaoye (China) were playing Rita Pocsai and Csaba Mero (Hungary); Choi Jeong and Choi Chulhan (Korea) were playing Irene Sha and Bill Lin (Canada); Mukai Chiaki and Murakawa Daisuke (Japan) were playing Natalia Kovaleva and Ilya Shikshin (Russia); Joanne Missingham and Lin Chi-han (Chinese Taipei) were playing Vanessa Wong and Jan Hora (Great Britain and Czechia, the European champion pair, representing the European Union). The Russian pair drew white. On other boards the far-eastern pair got white.

Vanessa Wong (left) and Jan Hora

In the China-Hungary game the Hungarian pair started out with a diagonal opening, which has become somewhat unusual. Their game was the first to end, when White 106 revealed that an eyeless group of about ten black stones in the center of the board was about to be cut off. Csaba Mero raised his white card to propose resignation and his partner raised her white card to indicate assent.

The other three games also ended in victory by resignation for the far eastern pairs, but they were closer, all lasting over 200 moves and concluding without the death of any large groups. The young Canadian pair came the closest; they were some five stones (10 points) behind when they resigned to the Koreans. The Canadians also sacrified more stones during their game than the European pairs, demonstrating even in defeat that sacrifice can be a sound strategy.The far eastern pairs now move on into the afternoon round of the knockout, while the other pairs move into the first round of the playoff for fifth place.

- James Davies

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