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At the conclusion of the 2015 WAGC, Andrew Davies finished 39th, with three wins out of eight. Interestingly, he was seeded 39th. On the last day, he lost to Spain 3d and beat Portugal 2k. The full table of results can be found here. This year the tournament was split into a number of MacMahon groups, which explains why Cyprus with 5 wins ended up 38th, while Japan with 5 wins ended up 5th. It’s not clear who was in which group, although one can probably deduce it by subtracting the number of wins from the score to see the starting score for each player. Players in higher groups would have a higher starting score.
After eight rounds I ended up with three wins, I guess pretty average for a 1 dan. I was seeded 48th and ended 44th, which is all you can ask for I suppose. In my final round I played another 3d, but neither of us could remember much of the game. As usual at this tournament, I had the better opening, but could not maintain my lead when the combat got complicated. Groups died.
After the tournament we spent a day on the bus touring the disaster sites of north eastern Japan. It was quite something to see how levelled the place was. Apparently tsunami’s as high as 20m came through some of the sites we saw, which is a truly terrifying prospect. Many sad stories were relayed by the bus guide. However, reconstruction is going ahead swiftly, and in most places we saw there was plenty of building and earth moving activity underway. The organizers and sponsors of the tournament were very keen to impress on us that we should take away a message of hope and recovering out to the world, which I can certainly do. We didn’t go anywhere near the reactor at Fukushima, however, which I understand is going to be a lot more difficult to recover from.
I lost my round 7 game against Slovenia 3d. It contrast to most of my games which have been really messy games, this was a fairly normal game. Both players made quite a few mistakes, as you’d expect from low dan players, but when I missed that my opponent could create a flower ko, that was pretty much that. There are some useful comments from Takemiya 9p which other players may find interesting.
After six rounds I have 3 wins. I have had a few fortunate wins, mind you, with a win yesterday a forfeit due to an illegal move, and one of the wins today due to a terrible mistake from my opponent. I’m not sure how we would have dealt with the illegal move, had it actually mattered, as my opponent had already pressed the clock, but his move, which was a ko threat played in the wrong place (into a ponnuki), was too small, and I was definitely going to ignore it anyway, which would have guaranteed a win.
Today I was fortunate to meeet Aketa-sensei, he arrived just as I finished my game against Mongolia. As you may know, Aketa is a big friend of Mongolian go as well, and he knew both of us. Aketa reviewed our game, after which I played a teaching game with Aketa. It was a 3 stone game, which he won by 1.5 points. Aketa then dragged a few of us to some go function, which was very enjoyable, with excellent (and free) food and beer. We had to all give speeches introducing ourselves, so in that sense we had to sing for our supper. However, I’ve given a few interviews here in Japan, so this wasn’t too uncomfortable. Aketa is a very fit looking 74 year old, and looks quite smart with his shaven head. He sends his fond regards to all his friends in South Africa. There is a picture of Aketa reviewing our game on the Mongolian Go Association Facebook page: Mongolian FB page
Tomorrow is the last round, then on Friday we are spending the day on a tour of the earthquake and tsunami damaged site. Perhaps unsurprisingly, the devastation from the disaster is uppermost on the minds of local residents, and it seems that at least to some extent they are viewing this Go event as an opportunity to show people from around the world how they are recovering from the events of 2 years ago.
I have had most of my games reviewed so far
Chris Welsh has just been in contact. He is currently on 1 win in 4 games. He has lost to two 1-dans and a strong German opponent, and has beaten a 1-kyu after the opponent played a suicide move in a ko fight. Results (currently until the end of round 3) are available at http://www.nihonkiin.or.jp/amakisen/worldama/34/e/result.html.
James Davies also interviewed Chris briefly – you can check out the interview here.