On October 19th, the Korean Cultural Center alongside the Korean newspaper ‘El Coreano’ organised the 3rd Baduk Festival in the ‘Museo de las Culturas del Mundo’, which is an old colonial building located next to the Zócalo square in the heart of Mexico City.
The Festival had the presence of the Korean professional player Yoonyoung Kim 4p, who played simul games with assistants. Also several friendly games were played between the assistants, divided into three categories. The Festival’s main event was a Mexico v. Korea Team Match. Each team consisted of five players and the match consisted of three stages: a relay one-board game, a one-to-one game and a rengo game with a sudden-death time setting.
In the one-board relay game, each team member would play 25 stones and then switch places with the next player in line. The remaining four players who weren’t playing at the moment were allowed to discuss the game preparing for their turn. The player who went last would be the one to finish the game. In this game the Korean team managed to secure a safe lead which granted them the first 2 points of the match.
In the one-to-one match, each of the five Mexican players played with one Korean player. It’s worth mentioning the diversity of the Mexican team, which on one side had Mr José Chacón, a 70-year-old long-life go promoter, and on another side also had Diego Luciano, a 13-year-old boy who spent over a year studying go at KIBA, a go school in Korea. Korean players were mainly businessmen who have been living in Mexico for several years. In this format Mexico obtained four victories and Korea one. In this way Mexico added 4 points to the score while Korea added one, setting a 4-3 score for Mexico. At the same time when this match took place, a three-versus-three youth team match was played between Mexican and Korean players.
The Rengo game, which was worth another two points, would decide the final outcome of the match. Players weren’t allowed to discuss among themselves but the team captains got a chance to call one time out which would pause the game for three minutes and allow them to discuss during that interval. The game went bad for Mexico from an early stage when they entered a ko fight which endangered a whole group, having to permit profit as long as its group remained safe. Later on the Mexican team made a deep invasion which allowed Korea to gain even more profit. Even though later on Mexico managed to capture a rather large group, they were still behind. Near the end of the game one of the Korean players oversaw a major yose move, allowing an entrance into their territory, at the end of the game Mexico won by 1.5, giving them the remaining match points so they emerged as the winners.
After this game, Yoonyoung Kim 4p gave a commentary about the rengo match for all the audience in which she stated it had been a miracle that Mexico had won the game.
After the game commentary, the closing ceremony took place where the winning team got a 600-USD prize and the loser a 300-USD prize. Small prizes were raffled, including a double flight to Seoul sponsored by Aeromexico. Overall it was a great event where people enjoyed sharing through go.
We’re already looking forward for the next festival!
Report by Emil García