The 2023 World Othello Championships has now concluded. Yasushi Nagano scored 9.5 points out of 13 in the swiss part of the tournament and needed to beat his compatriot Tetsu Satani in a fourth/fifth place playoff to reach the semi-finals. Nagano then went on to beat Seiya Kurita, also from Japan, 2-0 in two pulsating semi-final games. This was particularly impressive as Kurita had gone 13-0 in the Swiss part of the tournament including a win over Nagano. In the post-match interview, Nagano shared how he had some special preparation that he had been saving for the semi-final onwards.
In the other semi-final, Rujipas Aunchulee beat another former world champion, Michele Borassi, 2-0 setting up a final that was a repeat of one of the 2016 semi - Nagano vs Aunchulee which Aunchulee had won 2-0. On this occasion it was Nagano who avenged that loss to take the title of 2023 World Othello Champion. Congratulations Yasushi Nagano!
Yasushi Nagano in action
In the women's tournament, Hisako Kinoshite from Japan beat last year's champion Katie Pihlajapuro from Finland to take the title. Congratulations Hisako!
The youth tournament was won by Osuke Kawazoe, also from Japan, with a win over the rapidly improving Calvin Koh Ding Sheng from Singapore. The youth tournament is getting stronger in depth every year.
The team tournament was won, unsurprisingly, by Japan although it was a closer competition than might be assumed from the individual results above.
Of British interest, Imre Leader finished on 9/13 in the swiss, missing out on a potential semi-final spot by just half a point. David Hand finished on 7/13, Ian Turner finished on 6.5/13 including an impressive win against the 2022 world champion, Kento Urano. Helen Dexter finished on 5/13 and the British youth player, Sophie Plowman, finished on 3/13.
Full results can be seen at https://woc2023.worldothello.org/live/
The two semi-final games between Seiya Keita and Yasushi Nagano can be replayed below:
Keita (black) Vs Nagano (white) Nagano (black) Vs Keita (white)