Pieter Mioch, Go journalist from the Netherlands, is living in Nagoya, Japan,
the very same city which hosts the 2005 World Amateur Go Championships.
Pieter will cover the tournament with a series of articles, especially
but not only focussing on the Western participants from Europe and America.
The representative from Spain, Cesar Sanchez Munoz
"I started to play when I was twelve years old. I already played chess
but my brother told me about this game, it was supposed to improve
your mind or something. So, I got interested and when two guys from
the Barcelona go club showed up at our elementary school to teach go
I joined immediately. We started out with 32 kids I think but in the
end I was the only one left. I don't think that the others didn't like
go or something. The problem was that once we learned about go we only
could play at the Barcelona club which at that time was opened at eight
o'clock, one evening in the week. That was too late for most parents.
Fortunately for me and my go career my parents trusted me and allowed me
to play there as long as I promised to be back by 10. When I befriended
some older go fanatics on motor bikes who promised to safely deliver me
back home my deadline was moved to midnight. This was about when I was
15 I think. My go level was about 10 kyu then.
From that (tender) age on my go level improved bit by bit, in a steady
line. My friend and I made a competition out of who would be the
strongest fastest. We were about the same level so it was a fierce
competition. He, however, leveled out at about 4 kyu and I kept on
going. It is interesting though that this very same person, Pau Botill,
now teaches at a university and started the credited courses Igo 1
and Igo 2. I think that what he doing is called telecommunications or
something. I hear him talk about neural nets and experiments; we are
still good friends.
This is my fifth visit to Japan. First I was here back in 1994 to
participate in the Kyoto WAGC, next was 1996. Japan really did and does
a wonderful job of spreading go throughout the world and it has the guts
to really promote it which is a great thing, of course.
I have to say though, and this is not meant as criticism it is just an
observation, I got the feeling that the budget available for the WAC
has been decreasing through the years. I remember staying at extremely
luxurious hotel rooms and playing at a place looking like a palace. Now
the accommodations are a bit more down to earth as is the playing venue
but in a way it is better for me I think. It is easier to relax this way.
My favorite pro is Otake Hideo. We met years back and have been friends
ever since. As a matter of fact 3 days ago I was staying over at his
house. I met Mr. Teramoto, Go Seigen's manager and the cute looking pro
Tukuda too. I replayed quite a number of Otake's games and I feel that I
really could learn a lot from them. I like his style a lot and that too
helps, I think.
I thought the winner of this 26th WAGC was going to be Korea. I mean,
Korea seems to be the country of the moment, doesn't it? Some years ago
China was unbeatable but just when I thought that the Koreans had taken
over the WAGC now it looks very much that the Chinese representative is
going to win again. He is after all the only player with 6 points and
has already beaten Japan, D.P.R. Korea and Taiwan, all very strong go,
Oh, the interview is already over? Well, in that case it is maybe
interesting to tell you before you go what I do for a living. I am a
Manga and Anime specialist. (Gasp!)
My official title is Product Manager and what I do is check out loads
and loads of Manga which the company can move. Talking about Manga 95%
is Japanese and that is a reason too why I am happy to be here!
26th WAGC, round 5
2005 May 26
Ben Gale, South Africa
Cesar Sanchez Munoz, Spain
Inagaki Yo, 3p
Figure 1: 1-20
The fuseki looks difficult but is fair enough, the pro didn't have
anything to say. Black 13, however, he liked better played one to the
left. If white plays as shown in diagram 1 and black defends at two it
feels that white has gained a little. Compare for instance diagram 2.
Inagaki sensei liked black 1 better than the game move if now white
would play 2 and black 3 the exact same situation would arise. However,
black will not play at 3 since it is the fuseki and there are bigger
points to be had! Even without black the single white stone is too weak
to right away try to do something with. Maybe it can escape but that
endeavor will not bring in a lot of cash, for sure.
Cesar regretted white 20 a lot, after the game he made clear that this
move should've been played on space lower. In the game the black pincer
combines nicely with the top thickness.
Figure 2: 21-71
Black 23 is a little slack. Just because the top is strong black would
like to see what happens if he plays at a shown in diagram 3.
Black 37 is better played directly at 1 shown in diagram 4. If white
2, black has 15 to aim at and capture white. So, because diagram 4 is
good for black white cannot play at 2 but must player slower, at 17 for
Cesar felt that white 70 was too slow, but played it anyways and it cost
him the game. Inagaki sensei needed some time but eventually decided
that Cesar's suggestion to play 70 at 1 in diagram 5 was probably best.
In the end black won by 5.5 points. It was a good and close game fought
over 3 hours and more.