The French Open Championship took place on the 21st to the 23rd of August. Motoki Noguchi, of the Grenoble club, gave a brilliant performance to win the title.
26 players were present to compete for the title. Amongst them, Motoki Noguchi(7d) was the big favourite, but two pretenders to watch were Tanguy Le Calvé(6d) and Benjamin Dréan-Guénaizia(6d). As is normal in a Swiss System, the results from the first 2 rounds on Friday were mostly as expected.
Then on Saturday, more crucial games for the title took place. We note in round 4, the victory of Motoki against Jérôme Salignon(5d), in a game filled with fighting. At the same time, in the battle of the 6 dans, it was Benjamin Dréan-Guénaizia who dominated Tanguy Le Calvé.
In round 5, what was essentially the final took place between the 2 so-far unbeaten players, Motoki and Benjamin. But Benjamin wilted under the pressure of the day, and ended up resigning rather quickly.
In the other rounds on Sunday, Motoki secured his victory by beating Tanguy and then Benjamin Blanchard(3d). Benjamin Dréan-Guénaizia was assured of second place with his win over Jérôme Salignon, who ended up taking third place.
Thus Motoki pocketed his fourth title, equaling the number of wins of Pierre Colmez and Jeff Séailles. It should be noted that he chose non-standard fuseki, playing no komoku or hoshi throughout the championship!
Based on the article originally published in Revue Française de Go by Simon Billouet
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