The third annual SportAccord World Mind Games are taking place December 12-18 in Beijing, China. Click here for latest go competition winner results, here for Ranka Online’s full coverage and here for reports on all 2013 SportAccord World Mind Games competitions (chess, go, bridge, Chinese Chess & draughts). CLICK HERE TO WATCH GAMES LIVE!
NOTE: At 9 pm EST (6p PST) on Monday, December 16, Michael Redmond 9P and E-Journal Managing Editor Chris Garlock will provide live audio commentary on KGS on the SAWMG China-Korea men’s team final.
China & Korea Sweep to Final Showdown in Men’s Team Tourney: In the fourth round of the men’s team event at the 2013 SportAccord World Mind Games China swept Europe 3-0 to remain completely undefeated. Korea rolled over North America 3-0, but on the top board in this match, the USA’s Huiren Yang (left), the oldest player competing, played an outstanding game against Korea’s top-rated pro Park Jeonghwan (right). The Koreans following the action on the monitor screens outside the playing room praised Yang’s opening and thought he had ample opportunity to win, even though Park prevailed in the end. In contrast, Daniel Daehyuk Ko was completely hamstrung by Kim Jiseok on board two, and Yongfei Ge, who tried an unusual opening with a three-stone corner enclosure on board three, was quickly beaten by Cho Hanseung. So China and Korea will meet on Monday to decide which team will take home the gold medals.
Attention now focused on the match between Japan and Chinese Taipei. The game on the top board, between Chou Chun-hsun (Chinese Taipei, black) and Fujita Akihiko (Japan, white) was played to a YouTube audience with live commentary from Michael Redmond. Black framed the lower side. When White made a capping invasion, Black jumped into the lower left corner. In the next twenty moves White let Black capture the corner but built a solid wall above it, reducing Black’s framework to thirty points of territory buried under the wall. ‘At this point I thought White had a slightly better position,’ Fujita said. After a black mistake in the choice of joseki in the top right corner and a favorable exchange on the top left, White had a taken over large area stretching from the left side into the center and had a clear lead. Black tried unsuccessfully to reduce White’s area, and then resigned. First game to Japan.
On board two, Hirata Tomoya (black) started well for Japan, but then made a life-and-death mistake and lost a big group. ‘This game was very tough for me,’ said his opponent Wang Yuan-jyun. ‘In the opening I made a mistake that let Black capture five stones and get a strong position. Then Black made a minor mistake and I caught up a little, but I made another mistake that let him thrust out into the center and I was then even further behind. My only chance was to attack one of his groups and try to kill it. This should not have been possible–there were many variations and none of them worked–but fortunately for me he overlooked a move and the group died.’ Second game to Chinese Taipei.
The result of the match now rested on the outcome on board three, where Japan’s eighteen-year-old Tsuruta Kazushi was playing Chinese Taipei’s fifteen-year-old Lin Chun-yen. “I felt that I had the advantage in the opening,” Lin said later. “I may have been about ten points ahead – but I lost that lead in the middle game. Now I was behind and the game was quite unfavorable for me, but I managed to regain the lead in the endgame. At the point when my opponent resigned I was about ten or fifteen points ahead.” Match to Chinese Taipei by a 2-1 score, putting them in a strong position to capture the bronze medals. They also won the bronze medal last year in men’s individual competition, after Japan beat them to take the bronze in mixed team competition two years ago.
Wang Chenxing & Yu Zhiying in All-China Women’s Individual Final: In the fifth round of women’s repechage competition, played in the morning before the men’s team round, Wang Chenxing (China) was matched against Svetlana Shikshina (Russia) and Park Jieun (Korea) against Chang Cheng-ping (Chinese Taipei). Park and Chang played a classical opening, and their game looked close until Park isolated four of Chang’s eyeless stones on the lower side. Chang fought desperately to counterattack, and though she succeeded in slicing White apart, she could not kill the cut-apart pieces. Instead, another black group died and Chang resigned. In the Wang-Shikshina game, Wang forced a weak black group to live with just two small eyes. Both sides then made big territories elsewhere. Shikshina declined a chance to start a major fight and the game ended without incident, Wang winning comfortably by 10.5 points.
The final round of the women’s repechage was therefore played between Wang and Park. Their game proceeded until all the territories had been completed and only neutral points remained to be filled. At this point Park counted that she was a bit behind and resigned to take possession of the bronze medal. Wang will play China’s Yu Zhiying again on Tuesday to see who gets the silver medal and who gets the gold. While Wang was defeating Park, a playoff for fourth place was also taking place. Chang Cheng-ping (right) and Svetlana Shikshina (left) played a lively game that proceeded with lots of skirmishes but no decisive battles. Shikshina found herself increasingly on the defensive, however, forced to concede territory in order to keep her groups alive. Late in the endgame, when Chang succeeded in capturing five white stones in the center, Shikshina resigned. Fourth place therefore goes to Chinese Taipei’s Chang Cheng-ping while fifth place goes to Russia’s Svetlana Shikshina.
- James Davies, Ranka; photos by Ivan Vigano
Day 4 (Sunday, 12/15) Summary: (click on links for game records, uncommented unless otherwise noted)
Men’s team tournament (fourth round): Chinese Taipei 2-1 over Japan: Fujita Akihiko beat Chou Chun-hsun (Redmond commentary); Wang Yuan-jyun beat Hirata Tomoya; Lin Chun-yen beat Tsuruta Kazushi (Redmond commentary); China 3-0 over Europe: Fan Tingyu beat Fan Hui; Zhou Ruiyang beat Ilya Shikshin; Wang Xi beat Pavol Lisy; Korea 3-0 over North America: Park Jeonghwan beat Huiren Yang; Kim Jiseok beat Daniel Daehyuk Ko; Cho Hanseung beat Yongfei Ge
Women’s individual tournament
Fifth round: Wang Chenxing (China) beat Svetlana Shikshina (Russia); Park Jieun (Korea) beat Chang Cheng-ping (Chinese Taipei)
Sixth round: Wang Chenxing (China) beat Park Jieun (Korea)
Redmond Audio Game Commentaries: This year, in addition to the various video feeds made available by SportAccord, Michael Redmond 9P and American Go E-Journal Managing Editor Chris Garlock are doing live audio game commentaries on KGS, which are also being posted on KGS Plus under Recent Lectures.“12/15/13 8:59″ is the commentary on the Men’s Team Round 4 game between Fujita Akihiko (Japan) and Chou Chun-hsun (Chinese Taipei); “12/15/13 9:29″ is the Tsuruta Kazushi (Japan) vs Lin Chun-yen (Chinese Taipei) Men’s Team Round 4 game.