WAGC - by Elian Grigoriu 6dMirta Medak and I arrived in Shenzhen on the 14th of December. We've heard about the city before, about how the Chinese took only about 40 years to build this very futuristic city from scratch. Nowadays, with 17 million inhabitants, Shenzhen is the economical hub of China.
Right after arriving at the airport, we were picked up in a very luxurious electric van. Talk about high standards! :)
The week that followed was very enjoyable, the organisation was on point with everything: very welcoming, good hotel, good food, a lot of volunteers (and I mean really a lot), aired schedule, they didn't miss out anything. In that sense I was very impressed by how complete it can be: down to the small details like having name tags with 2 visible sides, seats in the shape of go stones and receiving a result booklet with each pairing and result sheet, and up to organising a sightseeing tour to a few local go attractions, giving us free tickets for the Ferris wheel and having volunteers guide us from the hotel to the playing venue daily.
And that's all just a small part of everything they did. I must say it inspired me to try hard in case I ever organize a tournament in Europe.
About the tournament, Europe occupied 2 places in the top 10, with Jonas Welticke (Germany) on the 7th place and myself on the 9th.
It seems we didn't have as many strong players attending from Europe this time compared to past years, but it was nice to meet new people. I finished with 5 victories out of 7 games. I wish I had a chance to play against the top Asian countries, hopefully next time I'll perform better and get to play them. Even though the randomness of the pairings can play a big role in that. For example, Baduk Doctor (Park Youngwoon, Hongkong representative) was there (for those who don't know he's actively posting videos on YouTube playing and commenting his games). My 6th game against Thailand could have allowed me to play with Baduk Doctor in the 7th round, had I won. It was an intense clash, balanced throughout the fuseki and middle-game, and was decided in endgame.
Elian Grigoriu 6d (B) vs Pongsakarn Sornarra 5d (W): W+4.5Download Sgf-File
After the game, I was given a fridge magnet by the Thai player, very thoughtful of him, but it didn't make the loss any sweeter.
In fact after receiving the gift, I was wondering whether if I put it on my fridge back at home, will I always remember my loss when I look at it? Haha, funny thoughts after losing a game, it always leaves a bitter feeling right after the game ends.
For example one of my opponents didn't want to sign the result sheet after I won by a dramatic 0.5 points, turning the game around in the last moves of the endgame. I'm sure it was just the frustration of the moment, as they signed only a few minutes later.
Even though it's hard to control one's emotions, as go players representing their countries, one should always put manners first. But I suppose everyone slacks off every now and then. Even the top pros can't help having hard reactions when they make big mistakes, right? I'd rather understand top pros overreacting, at the end of the day they're the ones playing for hundreds of thousands of euros. In that sense, one would probably react worse than my opponent, had he lost by half a point and at the same time lost some 100.000 euros.
Talking about pros, it was very cool to see some big names there (Mi Yuting, Dang Yifei, Ding Hao), as the 3rd GBA cup was held at the same time and in the same building as ours.
Big thanks to the Chinese Weiqi Association and Shenzhen Baoan District for their great effort of making this happen and looking forward to the next events organised in China!