Sunday, July 19, 2009

Waterloo Cup Open Go Tournament

Recently I participated in the Waterloo Cup, and managed to come in 5th. Probably because the tournament was so small -- but a university like Waterloo, with lots of students from mainland China can provide a lot of tough competition.

The tournament was won by a 10 year old second generation Chinese-Canadian. At first I thought that Canadians wouldn't have a chance of winning major Go tournaments, but on reflection I realize that Canada is a very attractive country for immigrants, and that there seems to be a greater passing on of cultural traditions among the Chinese community than there was among the Japanese community. Seeing Jia Ning Gan win gives lots of hope for strong Canadian players in the future.

I once almost won the Quebec open -- as a 3rd dan, I managed to beat 3 5-dans, including the eventual winner, Harry Gonshor a doctor from New Jersey. It became a 5-way tie for first, with the McMahon tie-breaking system determing the actual winner. At the time I regretted not playing better in 1 game against another 3-dan where i was leading for most of the game by a wide margin and finally lost by 1/2 a point.

But now, I am glad that Harry won the tournament. He was an immensely irritating player to play against, constantly talking to himself about the game in a way calculated to provoke his opponents into making emotional mistakes. But, he obviously loved Go a lot, had a great sense of humor, and I'm sure winning the Quebec Open was very satisfying for him. He died a short time later and I think that he got a lot more out of his tournament win than I would have.

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