Thursday, December 4th: I arrived 15 minutes before the appointed start time of the first round (10:00), only to find that none of the players were there yet. So, I had to wait a while until Christoph Gerlach, acting as tournament director, was able to get the formalities out of the way and the games could start. Due to the seeding, there weren't any particularily exciting matches in the first round, except for the one of Zhao Pei, who wasn't seeded highly since this was her first German Championship. Nevertheless, there was one upset: Liu Yang? 4d defeated Benjamin Teuber 5d, quite probably destroying any chance the latter may have had to compete for the top spot.
Results of the first round
During the short break between the rounds, I went for a stroll through town with Christoph, Egbert and Pei; we had to wait for Pei constantly while she bought herself new shoes, perfume and makeup, but I did manage to find something to eat before we had to be back.
The second round started half an hour later than originally planned (16:30 instead of 16:00), since we had taken so long in the morning. This time, none of the 6 dans were playing against one another...
Results of the second round
Friday, December 5th: The surprise this morning was not the result of the other two games last evening, but rather, the color of Benjamin's hair - it had suddenly become a fiery orange overnight. In keeping with this new style, he played a diagonal sanrensei in his first game... and it seems to have worked, his losing streak was interrupted.
The first round of the day was probably quite important for Zhao Pei - having already lost to Christoph Gerlach, she could not afford another loss if she wanted to stay in the running for the championship, and Franz-Josef Dickhut was the one most likely to beat her. Naturally, I wanted to record this game. ;)
Results of the third round
In one of the games, during the opening, after playing out a sequence quite quickly: "Hm, unfortunately, the ladder doesn't work now." - "That's right." - "So that's what you were thinking about for so long before." - "If you had thought about it longer, the ladder would have worked for you."
Lunch was quite uneventful. Franz-Josef had Penne Arabiatta  while Felix ate Spaghetti with crabs, while Christoph and I only had something to drink. (Christoph never eats between rounds in go tournaments... good thing we don't have two-day games here in Germany...)
The fourth round came, and Pei's third game against another 6-dan. Quote: "I want to play at least one decent game!" Egbert, of course, was not about to give up his chances for victory, despite a stumble earlier against Felix, and so this made for a very tough contest. But to be honest I was almost more interested in the other game I was recording, since I have a little bet on with Christoph - that he would lose to at least 2 from Hamburg. Yang put up a very good fight, but... it seems my chances of winning the bet are getting slim...
Results of the fourth round
Standings after 4 rounds: Dickhut 4-0, Gerlach 4-0, Rittner 2-2, Teuber 2-2, Zhao 2-2, von Arnim 1-3, Liu 1-3, Schütze 0-4.
Saturday, December 6th: By now it was quite clear which two would be fighting out the championship, and their match was already in the morning. I was quite eager to record this one of course! Both played rather well, but Christoph made a mistake in the middle game which allowed FJ to take the lead, and he held on to it for the rest of the way through.
Results of the fifth round
Between the rounds I was at the Nikolausturnier (which was happening at another place in Braunschweig) with Benjamin to greet some people and spread the news of FJ's victory. The sixth round held no surprises in store and, unfortunately, I lost my bet against Christoph...
Results of the sixth round
In the evening some 20 go players congregated at a very nice Thai restaurant for dinner. Somehow, the Chinese faction managed to spend thrice as long eating as everyone else, so I had to wait quite a while until Du Jingyu 7d was finally ready to comment on the big game for us.
Sunday, December 7th: With the first 3 places already set, most players were quite relaxed; Yang and Pei came 40 minutes late yet were still done before the others. Only Felix (wanting a shared 4th instead of 6th place) and Bernd (not wanting to lose all his games) struggled on well into overtime, and I was able to have a nice lunch with Benjamin, FJ, Pei and Yang, before making my way back to Hamburg.
Results of the 7th round
Overall it was quite an enjoyable experience and I hope to be able to watch again next year. Felix von Arnim wrote down his games afterwards and has promised to email them to me once they are digitalized, I will make them available then.
: Ehm ehm... As native Italian, I feel sort of obliged to correct a misspelling... Food is very important for us Italians, you know.
Penne Arabiatta is spelled penne all'arrabiata. It means penne (for those who don't know, it is a kind of short pasta) angry-style, due to the very, very large quantity of red hot pepper you add to the oil, garlic and tomato sauce...
Slurp, and burp! ;-)))