Thursday, August 31, 2006

World Go Oza

The Toyota & Denso World Go Oza, a single-elimination tourney featuring 32 of the world's top players, is taking place right now in Tokyo. Japan started with ten players, but only three made it to the second round. The two North American representatives, three European representatives, and one Central/South American representative were all eliminated in the first round. The eight quart-finalists were 3-3-2, Korean, Chinese, Japanese. The Asia-at-large player (from Hong Kong) and Taiwanese player were both eliminated in the second round. Three of the four remaining players are (South) Korean, with one Japanese player. The semifinals are tomorrow, ending a week of intense play, but the finals won't be played until January 6-8.

Lee Chang Ho is one of the remaining four; many people seem to consider him the top player in the world.

My confusion is compounded by being unable to read the Chinese characters for many of the non-Japanese names (including the remaining nominally Japanese player, Chang Hsu, who is probably Chinese-born, if I guess right), and the fact that the Japanese assign a different phonetic reading to all of those names than their native readings, which makes it hard to match up the romanized version of their home-country names with the Japanese pronunciation.

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