Ranka spoke with the Japanese player, Kinoshita Nagatoki, aftr his victories over Mexico’s Emilio Gutierrez and Turkey’s Fatih Sulak in the first two rounds.
Ranka: Please tell us something about yourself.
Kinoshita: I’m a microbiologist at the Institute of Physical and Chemical Research. My field of research is bioluminescence.
Ranka: Isn’t that the field in which a Nobel Prize was awarded last year?
Kinoshita: Yes, to three researchers, one of them Japanese.
Ranka: Do you have many go-playing colleagues at the Institute of Physical and Chemical Research?
Kinoshita: About ten.
Ranka: Please tell us about your go career.
Kinoshita: I started playing at age 11, learning the game from my father. Then I started going to go clubs. I won Japanese National High School Championship once the University Student Championship once, and a qualifying tournament for the Asahi Amateur Meijin once, but this is my first big international tournament.
Ranka: How were you selected to come?
Kinoshita: I took second place in the WAGC selection tournament last year, losing to Nakazono Seizo. As a result, he played in the World Amateur Go Championship in May, and ceded the opportunity to play in the Korea Prime Minister Cup to me.
Ranka: Is this your first trip to Korea?
Kinoshita: No, I’ve been in Korea before as part of university alumni go team that Mr Nakazono organizes.
Ranka: What is your general impression of Korea?
Kinoshita: Korea is rather like Japan. It would be an easy country to live in.
Ranka: And what are your hopes for this tournament?
Kinoshita: Last year Japan took third place, so I’d like to do as well this year. But what I’d really like to do is beat the Chinese or Korean player. Not necessarily both of them, but one of them.
Ranka: Thank you very much.
Postscript: After this interview Mr Kinoshita took a step toward realizing his hopes by beating Hong Kong’s Chan Nai-san, but the next day he lost to the Korean player and then he lost the race for third place to Canada’s Yongfei Ge by one SOSOS point. One can only speculate on what the result of a Ge-Kinoshita game would have been: both players had an outstandingly good tournament.