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The 2002 NZ Go Championship competition was held in Auckland over the weekend of the 9th and 10th of November. Twenty players took part in the event – 3 from Dunedin, 3 from Wellington, and 14 from Auckland.

The strength in play seemed very high, with nominal rankings in the Open section ranging from 2 dan up to 6 dan. The handicap section saw some interesting pairings, with Edwin Phease, 6 (that’s his age, not his kyu rating) providing not only formidable competition but also highly entertaining impromptu commentary, for all to hear.

Auckland’s Daniel Jung, 15, proved unstoppable, taking the title of New Zealand Go Champion 2002 with six straight wins. Second, with five wins, was Long Yang Li. Ted Kim and Colin Grierson were tied in third place with four wins. Also on four wins was Steve Kim, but the sum-of-scores system came into play here and put Steve in fifth place.

Steve Taylor and Edwin Phease shared first place in the Handicap section. Edwin speaks confidently of reaching shodan level in the near future….

An excellent atmosphere pervaded the entire tournament, with at least as many ‘friendly’ games as competition ones, some very young and talented players, lots of enthusiasm, and an enjoyable Saturday evening - a meal at a Chinese restaurant, after which we invaded Colin’s house for go, drinks, fireworks and the highly amusing card game “Oh Hell”.

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