Romania unable to attend WAGC

Romania will not be able to send any player to represent the country at the World Amateur Go Championship this year. With it being one of the stronger countries in Europe, Romania has normally had good results at the competition. This year however, a late change of plans from the executive board means that they will no longer be able to send their planned representative. We talked directly to the player Popic Popescu (7-dan) to understand what happened.

“Popic, you have competed many times in this event, even coming as high as the third place. Were you looking forward to visiting Tokyo?”

“Yes, I mean it is quite special this event. I train a lot for it. Maybe I can not win, but I always hope to get a good position, I mean third place it is quite okay.”

“But why can’t you go there this year? Don’t you have a plane ticket?”

“Is not about the plane only. To represent Romania I need the official paper, I mean the paper from the Ministry.”

“Can’t the secretary of Romanian Go Federation get these for you?”

“Yes, this is his job actually, but he didn’t do it.”

“But what did he do then?”

“I waited a long time for these paper, and nothing came. So last week I phone him (George Borgia) to see where they are. I tell to him “Heh George (1-dan), you know the World Championship? Is coming soon in May. Did my paper come through yet?” He answer me “What do you mean May? It is always in June! Are the Japanese making fun of me?!” I explain to him it is in May, but he didn’t care. Suddenly he tell to me “Look. Forget Tokyo. Forget the Championship. You are going to go to the Expoziţia lu’ Dracu [The Dracu Exhibition] instead.””

“What is this Expoziţia lu’ Dracu? Is it in an important event?”

“Actually I don’t know, I never heard of it. So I ask George again to check. He just repeat very strongly “Go to Dracu! And since it is open to everyone, you can send all the Romanian players to Dracu as well.” And so I have to go there next week instead of to Tokyo.”

“I guess you are a bit sad to miss the tournament. Can somebody else go in your place?”

“Nobody will go from Romania at all. It’s sad, I mean I am very sad about it actually.”