White: TUO Jaxi (China) 3p
Black: CHOI Chulhan (Korea) 9p
Commentary by Michael Redmond 9p, transcribed by Chris Garlock
Tuo is a relatively young player, very high in the world rankings right now. Choi has been representing Korea for some time now; he’s known for his fighting strength and usually plays an exciting game, as you’ll see here.
This was the most evenly-matched game of the first round, featuring top players from Korea and China…
Click here to start the game viewer.
Round 3 started at 3:00 p.m. on December 12th, with twelve men and all twelve women competing. In the undefeated men’s section, China’s Chen Yaoye was matched against Korea’s Park Jeonghwan, and Koreans Choi Chulhan and Kang Dongyoon were matched against each other. In the undefeated women’s section, China’s Rui Naiwei was matched against Korea’s Park Jieun, a player who had occasionally managed to defeat her in title matches when Rui was playing professionally in Korea, and China’s Li He was matched against Korea’s teenaged Myung-in Choi Jeong. Most players took their seats early. Rui Naiwei and Choi Jeong spent the pre-game minutes meditating with closed eyes.
The starting instructions were given in English by Michael Redmond, standing in for the chief referee: mobile phones off, photographers allowed in to take pictures for only the first 15 minutes. This last instruction did not apply to the television crew that was broadcasting the Chen-Park game.
On most boards play started slowly. The exceptions were the Li-Choi game in the main women’s section, the Missingham-Okuda game in the women’s repechage section, the Csaba-Lin game in the men’s repechage, and the televised game between Park Jeonghwan and Chen Yaoye. In this last game, Korea suffered its first loss when Park tried to take control of the game by attacking a large white group. Chen refuted the attack and developed an overwhelming lead in the middle game, and Park resigned.
The other game between undefeated men was won by Choi Chulhan, who will face Chen Yaoye in the fourth round. In the women’s main section, China was doubly triumphant. Li He defeated Choi Jeong relatively quickly and Rui Naiwei, in the longest game of the day, beat Park Jieun by 1-3/4 stones.
In the repechage sections, the eight players who survived to advance into the fourth round were: Lin Chi-han of Chinese Taipei, who eliminated Csaba Mero of Hungary (‘His reading was too fast for me to keep up with,’ was Csaba’s comment); Lin Chun-yen of Chinese Taipei, who surprisingly eliminated Tuo Jiaxi of China, setting up a match between the two remaining Lin’s in the fourth round, ensuring that at least one player from Chinese Taipei will reach the fifth round; Jiang Weijie of China, who eliminated Murakawa Daisuke of Japan by winning a fight in the middle of the board; Fujita Akihiko of Japan, who eliminated countrymate Uchida Shuhei; Mukai Chiaki of Japan, who eliminated Su Sheng-fang of Chinese Taipei; Joanne Missingham of Chinese Taipei, who stormed back from her morning loss to eliminate Okuda Aya of Japan; Natalia Kovaleva of Russia, who eliminated Irene Sha of Canada in a long fighting game that ended with no groups dead but many groups reduced to just two eyes and Natalia slightly ahead; and Vanessa Wong of Great Britain, who eliminated Rita Pocsai of Hungary, whom she had also beaten in the European Women’s Championship this year.
The sum total of the first three rounds is that sixteen players remain in contention: five from Korea, four from China, three from Chinese Taipei, two from Japan, and two European women. Which six of these sixteen will win the medals is anybody’s guess.
- James Davies
Round 2 of the SportAccord World Mind Games began at 9:30 a.m. on December 12. Outside, the ground was still covered with snow, but the temperature was pleasantly warm within the playing venue at the Beijing International Convention Center. All 16 men were competing, eight in the main section, eight in the repechage. Eight of the 12 women were competing, including the four seeded players who had byes in the first round and the four who had won their first-round games.
In the men’s division, two games promised to be particularly noteworthy. One was the match between China’s Jiang Weijie and Korea’s Kang Dongyoon. Jiang’s triumphs so far this year have included the LG Cup, the Dachongjiu Cup, and the China-Japan-Korea Mingren-Meijin-Myung-in playoff. Kang won the men’s individual event at the 2008 World Mind Sports Games in Beijing, the 2009 Fujitsu Cup, and the 2009 Korean Chunwon title. The other particularly noteworthy game was the match between Czechia’s Jan Hora and Hungary’s Csaba Mero in the repechage section. The winner of that game would advance to the third round and at least double his monetary prize. Csaba, a former insei in Japan, played this game seated cross-legged in his chair.
In the women’s division, the two Chinese players were playing the two Japanese, and the two Koreans were playing the two from Chinese Taipei. All four of these games were well matched.
In the men’s repechage section, Russia’s Ilya Shikshin, Argentina’s Fernando Aguilar, and Canada’s Tianyu (Bill) Lin had no luck against China’s Tuo Jiaxi and Chinese Taipei’s Lin Chi-han and Lin Chun-yen. For the losers of these games, the tournament was now over.
In the men’s and women’s main sections Japan’s magnificent fortunes of the first round suffered a total reversal. First Okuda Aya lost to China’s Li He in the women’s division. Li He is in good form, having won the Mt. Qionglong Bingsheng Cup in November. Next, in the men’s division, Fujita Akihiko lost by a wide margin to China’s Chen Yaoye. Chen is a leading prospect for a medal, having recently won his way into the final of the Chunlan Cup by beating Park Jeonghwan and Jiang Weijie. Soon afterward Japan’s Murakawa Daisuke lost by resignation to Korea’s Choi Chulhan. The last Japanese players to lose were Uchida Shuhei, by resignation, to Korea’s Park Jeonghwan, and Mukai Chiaki, by resignation, to China’s Rui Naiwei.
Elsewhere in the women’s division Korea’s Choi Jeong, women’s Myung-in (Meijin) at age 15, defeated the go ambassador of the Games, Chinese Taipei’s Joanne Missingham, by resignation.
The last two games to end were the Jiang-Kang men’s game and the women’s game between Park Jieun (Korea) and Su Sheng-fang (Chinese Taipei). The women’s game was not close. Park Jieun, bronze medalist at Beijing in 2008 and winner of the Bingsheng Cup in 2010 and 2011, beat her oppononent by a double-digit margin (by Japanese counting). The Jiang-Kang game, however, turned into an exciting three-hour marathon littered with dead stones, ending in victory by Kang Dongyoon by 3/4 stone (1.5 points). After two rounds, the five Koreans are still undefeated.
And the repechage contest between Csaba Mero and Jan Hora? The winner, by 3-3/4 stones (7.5 points) was Hungary’s Csaba Mero. He now proceeds into the third round, where his opponent will be Lin Chi-han.
- James Davies
The opening ceremony of the SportAccord World Mind Games was held in the Convention Hall at the Beijing International Conference Center, hosted by Liu Jingmin, Deputy Director of the Committee of Education, Science, Health and Sports, which operates within China’s CPPCC National Committee. At 6:30 p.m. a selection of participating mind athletes from the five disciplines of bridge, chess, draughts, go, and xiangqi paraded onto the stage. The flags of the People’s Republic of China and SportAccord were hoisted to flutter vigorously in an artificial breeze, anthems were played, and the attending athletes, officials, staff, and guests were treated to a succession of speeches. Like the addresses at the morning press conference, these stressed the educational, cultural, and social benefits of mind games. Perhaps the key remark was delivered by SportAccord president Hein Verbruggen: ‘Mind sports are deeply rooted in Chinese culture.’ For the benefit of non-English speakers, his speech was translated into Chinese text displayed on a large raised screen, and the three Chinese speeches were similarly translated into English text.
The speeches were followed by the athletes’ oath and the referees’ oath, which brought the proceedings to 7:00. The rest of the ceremony was a magnificent arts performance. It included a martial arts dance that looked rather like classical ballet, an instrumental performance by the Girls’ Crystal Band in which the eight girls wielded their traditional Chinese instruments in much the style of a 1920′s jazz band, an athletic street dance with a chessboard theme that sent the dancers’ neckties and shirttails flying, a Peking Opera performance with a contract bridge theme and much crashing of gongs and cymbals, and then a grand finale with all groups taking the stage. Each performance was preceded by an elaborate sand painting display by Gao Zanmin.
And this performance left the athletes, officials, staff, and guests in just the right mood for the sumptuous Chinese banquet that followed at the adjoining Beijing Continental Grand Hotel.
- James Davies
The first round of the men’s and women’s individual competition at the SportAccord World Mind Games was played in the afternoon of December 12 at the Beijing International Convention Center, conveniently joined to the Beijing Continental Grand hotel by an enclosed passage so that the players did not have to venture out into the snow that had been falling since morning.
Before the drawing for pairings on the 11th, the Japanese players had been studying the tournament chart posted outside the meeting room. ‘Oh-oh — two losses and you’re out,’ one of them had said. Well, they needn’t have worried. In the first round the Japanese went undefeated, as did the Koreans.
In a game broadcast live to a YouTube audience with commentary by Michael Redmond, anchored by Chris Garlock, Japan’s Murakawa Daisuke, a Kansai Kiin player who recently won a place in the Meijin League, took an early lead against Russia’s Ilya Shikshin, but Ilya kept the game lively and complicated. Eventually the fighting came down to an indirect ko. The three-time European champion, currently a history major at Kazan State University, was a move behind and resigned.
The game between Japan’s Fujita Akihiko, runner-up in this year’s Japanese New King (Shinjin-O) tournament, and Lin Chi-Han, winner of some 26 titles in Chinese Taipei during the past decade, was closer. To the spectators watching on the computer monitor screen in the room adjoining the closed playing room, it looked too close to call, but when the score was counted, the Japanese players was a fraction of a stone ahead (1.5 points by Japanese counting).
The game between Japan’s Uchida Shuhei and Czechia’s Jan Hora was one of the last to finish, but there was no doubt about this result; the Japanese player was more than 10 stones (20 points) ahead. In the women’s competition, Japan’s Okuda Aya also won decisively against Hungary’s Rita Pocsai after a joseki error by Rita in the opening.
The centerpiece of the first round, however, was the game between Choi Chulhan, who holds the Siptan (10-dan) and Chunwon (Tengen) titles in Korea and the Ing Cup internationally, and Tuo Jiaxi, winner of the Chinese edition of the Ing Cup (the Chang-ki cup) in 2012. Their game finished almost simultaneously with the Fujita-Lin game. Choi captured a corner group and won by the comfortable margin of 2-3/4 stones (5.5 points). The other three Korean victories came at the expense of Hungary’s Csaba Mero (beaten by Park Jeonghwan), Chinese Taipei’s Lin Chun-yen (beaten by Kang Dongyoon), and Great Britain’s Vanessa Wong (beaten by 15-year-old Choi Jeong).
As for the host country, Tuo’s loss to Choi was their only setback. In the men’s competition Chen Yoaye, Tian-yuan (Tengen) since 2009, defeated Argentina’s Fernando Aguilar in just 90 moves, and Jiang Weijie, winner of three Chinese titles in 2012, captured over 30 stones, forcing Canada’s Tianyu (Bill) Lin to resign in 142 moves. In the women’s competition Rui Naiwei, winner of the 2012 Jishou Invitational Cup, defeated Russia’s Natalia Kovaleva in a rapidly-played 159 moves.
For Chinese Taipei, the victory by 16-year-old Su Sheng-fang over Canada’s Irene Sha in the women’s competition was some compensation for their double defeat in the men’s.
And then, having completed their first-round games, the players moved downstairs to the opening ceremony.
- James Davies
On December 12, while the players took the morning off to recover from various degrees of jetlag, the media were treated to an opening press conference at the Information Office of Beijing Municipality. Ms. Wang Hui, Press Office Director of the Beijing Municipal Government, introduced Mr Hein Verbruggen, president of SportAccord, who thanked the Sports Administration of China and the Beijing Municipal Government for having the foresight to ask SportAccord to come to Beijing to develop a new type of sports event that would also serve education, cultural, and social purposes. Mr Wu Jingmi, Executive President of the local organizing committee, described the popularization of mind games as part of Beijing’s plan to develop into a cultural center and an intelligent city. Observing that the populace were coming to understand the educational value of mind games better, he reported that 1500 primary and high-school students had taken part in a mind games competition of their own on December 9, and 300 college students would be holding a college mind games on the 16th, in parallel with the SportAccord event. Vincent Gaillard, SportAccord’s Director General, also emphasized the value of the educational outreach program and described SportAccord’s multi-sport events (not just mind games but also combat, artistic, and beach games) as a new concept, unlike anything else out there in the marketplace.
David Neville, Director of SportAccord’s Multi-Sports Unit praised the fantastic job done by the local organizers to get ready for the 152 players and 74 officials, described the more extensive media coverage (24 platforms broadcasting to 64 countries), and praised the preliminary online tournamet,which attracted 380,000 amateur participants this year, five of whom won trips to Beijing.
Some of the online winners were on hand to greet the media. Joanne Missingham, the ‘face of go’ for the games, played her role as ambassador by addressing the media in Chinese and English. In the question and answer session that followed, Hein Verbruggen described how Beijing’s all-out approach to the 2008 Olympic Games had earned it a permanent Olympic legacy, and speculated on the future chances for mahjong at the World Mind Games — possible, if it can produce an international organization. And with this, the World Mind Games were ready to begin.
- James Davies (photos Yang Shuang)
After months of build-up, go players from Argentina, Canada, China, Czechia, Chinese Taipei, Hungary, Japan, Korea, Russia, and the United Kingdom began arriving in Beijing around December 10 for the SportAccord World Mind Games. The first event on their schedule was an evening meeting on December 11 at which they drew for the all-important player numbers that would decide their pairings during the games. After some welcoming remarks by Japan’s Technical Delegate Shigeno Yuki and a review of ther rules by the chief referee, China’s Hua Yigang, the drawing began.
First was the draw for the men’s individual competition. China, Korea, Japan, and Chinese Taipei, which had taken the top four places in last year’s team competition, seeded two players each to draw for player numbers 1, 4, 5, 8, 9, 12, 13, and 16, after which the remaining eight players drew for the remaining eight numbers. The results were as follows. In the first round on December 12, number 1 plays number 2, number 3 plays number 4, and so on.
Men’s individual competition
1 Park Jeonghwan, Korea
2 Csaba Mero, Hungary
3 Jan Hora, Czechia
4 Uchida Shuhei, Japan
5 Chen Yaoye, China
6 Fernando Aguilar, Argentina
7 Fujita Akihiko, Japan
8 Lin Chi-han, Chinese Taipei
9 Murakawa Daisuke, Japan
10 Ilya Shikshin, Russia
11 Tuo Jiaxi, China
12 Choi Chulhan, Korea
13 Lin Chun-yen, Chinese Taipei
14 Kang Dongyoon, Korea
15 Tianyu (Bill) Lin, Canada
16 Jiang Weijie, China
The competition will be run as a double knockout with a playoff for fourth place. Seven rounds will be played, one round per day. The sole undefeated player after four rounds gets a bye in rounds five and six, then meets the winner of the repechage knockout in the final round on December 19 to decide 1st and 2nd places. The runner-up of the repechage finishes 3rd. The two defeated semifinalists in the repechage play the game that decides 4th and 5th places in the sixth round. In all 31 games will be played: the four players who lose their first two games play only two apiece, four of the top five finishers play seven games, and the average player plays 3.875 games.
Attention in the first round focuses on the three games between far eastern players. China’s Tuo Jiaxi drew Korea’s Choi Chulhan; both are medal contenders. Japan’s Fujita Akihiko drew Chinese Taipei’s Lin Chi-han and Korea’s Kang Dongyoon drew Chinese Taipei’s Lin Chun-yen; the outcomes of these two games will say much about Chinese Taipei’s medal prospects.
The women’s individual competition is similarly organized with seven rounds, but with only twelve constenstants only four were seeded, and the seeded players (numbers 1, 6, 7, and 12) get a bye in the first round. Here are the results of the draw:
Women’s individual competition
1 Park Jieun, Korea
2 Irene Sha, Canada
3 Su Sheng-fang, Chinese Taipei
4 Rui Naiwei, China
5 Natalia Kovaleva, Russia
6 Mukai Chiaki, Japan
7 Joanne (Jia-jia) Missingham, Chinese Taipei
8 Vanessa Wong, Great Britain
9 Choi Jeong, Korea
10 Okuda Aya, Japan
11 Rita Pocsai, Hungary
12 Li He, China
The drawings for the mixed doubles pair-go competition were aso held, with these results. The three-round pair knockout starts on December 18.
1 Choi Jeong & Choi Chulhan, Korea
2 Irene Sha & Tianyu Lin, Canada
3 Vanessa Wong & Jan Hora, Europe
4 Joanne Missingham & Lin Chi-han, Chinese Taipei
5 Mukai Chiaki & Murakawa Daisuke, Japan
6 Natalia Kovaleva & Ilya Shikshina, Russia
7 Rita Pocsai & Csaba Mero, Hungary
8 Li He & Jiang Weiji, China
- James Davies
The second edition of the World Mind Games is about to start on 12 December with the last preparations currently in progress. This year’s event, hosted in Beijing, China, will include 8 days of competitions in 5 mind sports; Bridge, Chess, Draughts, Go, Xiangqi (Chinese Chess). Players representing the different mind sports are some of the world’s best, including:
BRIDGE: Fu Zhong, Bauke Muller, Peter Bertheau and Fredryk Nystrom, Joe Grue, Ming Sun, Catherine d’Ovidio, Nicola Smith, Lynn Deas
CHESS: Humpy Koneru, Aronyan Levon, Rajabov Teymur, Karyakin Sergey, Hou Yifan, Muzychuk Anna
DRAUGHTS: Alexei Chizov, Alexander Georgiev, Zoja Golubeva
GO: Jiang Weijie, Chen Yaone, Park Jeonghwan, Choi Chulhan
XIANGQI: Wang Tian Yi, Nguyen Hoang Lam, Lei Kam Fun, Ng Jun Ming, Chan, Chun Kit, Chen Li Chun, Jia Dan, Cao Phuong Thanh
The 2012 SportAccord World Mind Games have an extensive Social, Cultural & Educational Programme which will run in parallel to the competitions and involve the local public, especially students. The following five ambassadors will represent the different participating sports and promote them among public. Bridge: Sjoert Brink, Chess: Hou Yifan, Draughts: Alexey Chizhov, Go: Missingham Joanne Jia Jia, Xiangqi: Chan Chun Kit. In addition, the winners of the online tournament will join SportAccord World Mind Games in Beijing to meet and play against the Grand Masters.
Twenty-four media platforms will air the event and the television broadcast will be available in 64 territories around the world. The live web-streaming will be available on The Mind Games Channel on Youtube.
SportAccord World Mind Games are a multi-sports event which highlights the great value of mind sports. The world’s best players deliver top-level performances and create new valuable experiences based on intelligence, strategy and exercise of mind.
SportAccord World Mind Games Official Partners:
- SportAccord Press Release