The 27th International Amateur Pair Go Championship took place in Tokyo on the 3rd and 4th December 2016 at the same time as the 3rd World Students Pair Go Championship and the JAPG Cup (the latter being a tournament only for Japanese players). Having now arrived at the 27th edition, it can be said that it's one of the longest running international go tournaments.
The first three places were occupied by the following pairs:
1) Kim Sooyoung (6-dan) and Park Jongwook (7-dan) from Korea,
2) Pai Shin-Hui (7-dan) and Huang Wei (7-dan) from Chinese Taipei,
3) Li Xuemeng (6-dan) and Gu Wenkai (5-dan) from China.
Kim Sooyoung (6-dan) has won this competition before, but with different partners. Park Jongwook (7-dan) is at the moment one of the top amateur players in Korea.
There were many pairs from Europe. The following list shows their final standings in the tournament:
7) Rita Pocsai (4-dan) and Pal Balogh (6-dan) from Hungary – the European Pair Go champions,
17) Elvina Kalsberg (4-dan) and Grigorii Fionin (6-dan) from Russia,
23) Manja Marz (4-dan) and Michael Marz (3-dan) from Germany,
24) Andreea Elena Pirvu (5-kyu) and Lucian Corlan (5-dan) from Romania,
25) Marit Ohlenbusch (4-kyu) and Søren Ohlenbusch (3-dan) from Denmark,
26) Liya Sang (6-kyu) and Martin Li (4-dan) from Sweden,
27) Zuzana Kralikova (4-kyu) and Milan Jadron (1-kyu) from Slovakia,
28) Marie Jemine (1-kyu) and Vincent Lochen (5-kyu) from Belgium,
29) Sieglinde Gruber (1-dan) and Helmut Wiltschek (6-dan) from Austria,
30) Pernille Elisabeth Hvalby (8-kyu) and Jon Runar Melting (1-kyu) from Norway.
For full results click here.
Some of the European pairs have been playing together for a long time (e.g., the Hungarian pair and the German pair), while some pairings are very young (e.g., the Romanian pair, the Danish pair, the Russian pair). The time settings (45 minutes sudden death) were unusual for Europeans who are used to longer thinking times and byoyomi, so some of the games were also lost on time. One such game was that of Rita Pocsai (4-dan) and Pal Balogh (6-dan) against Maya Osawa (6-dan) and Yoshiyuki Tsuchimune (6-dan) from Japan. The Hungarian pair lost the game, which was a very close one (maybe 1.5 points), by time in the late endgame.
Just as in the previous years, the organizers paid great attention to the well-being of the participants: they wanted the players to get to know each other (for which they organized the friendly game and the opening and closing ceremonies) and they wanted them to get a feeling of the Japanese culture. At the closing ceremony the best dressed players, who were chosen with the help of Junko Koshino, a famous Japanese designer, received prizes. There was also a lottery at which a few lucky ones got all kinds of prizes.
There hasn't yet been a European pair who won this tournament, but we are hoping that perhaps the next years will bring a surprise. Here you can have a look at some of the games played in the tournament.