The evening of the 22nd May, two days before the start of the 26th
world amateur go championship most participants have arrived in Nagoya,
central Japan. Usually the venue for the WAGC is chosen from more rural
locations but this year's venue was picked because the 2005 world
exhibition is held in Nagoya and the surrounding area.
Perhaps in order to make it easier for the contestants to concentrate
on the games 100% the gathered go players were taken to expo 2005 to
participate in a friendship match with local go fans whose lot was drawn
in a lottery the ki-in had organized.
There certainly is no lack of points of interest in a tournament held
over 8 rounds and with well over 60 countries participating. To single
out a few,
- Does the Japanese representative at the advanced age of 75 still
have the stamina to go the whole 9 yards and play two games a day, 4
days a week? In spite of him being an experienced 8-dan player, the last
time Yasuro Kikuchi came out for Japan during the 24th WAGC he looked
exhausted after most of his games. However, he actually made runner up
and he still, without a doubt belongs among the top three of the field.
This time finishing at such a high place will take an almost super human
- The participant from D.P.R. Korea's strength is often unclear. There
is little known about the level of the 17-year-old student Tae Won Jo.
However, D.P.R. Korea representatives, having laid hands on the 2nd and
3rd places in the past, have made it clear that they are not to be taken
- The last time the representative of Ukraine took part in 2003 he was
the only player who caused the Chinese participant (who eventually won
the 24th WAGC with a perfect score) any trouble. As a matter of fact
during the after game commentary pro's gathered were of the opinion that
Dmytro Bogatskyy had a solid win.
- Last year the representative from France ended in fourth place, one
place above the representative from Japan. Will this year again bring
about such a stunning upset?
- It also will be interesting to see how the youngest contestants will
do from Tuesday to Friday during the 8 nerve wrecking rounds. Both the
representative from Hong Kong, Nai San Chan and the representative from
Brazil, Fabio Kenji Sakata Martinez, are only 12 years old.
- The last point of interest is the question to what degree the 8
round tournament will eliminate the element of luck from the pairings
each round. Ideally speaking players who end in the top-9 all get to
play each other but as far as I know this has never happened yet.