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The 6th Renju World Championship took place in Beijing, China, July 30 - August 5, 1999.
So many people were excited to visit the country with such a great culture and history. The sightseeings to the Great Wall, Forbidden City, Summer Palace - it filled every renju player with admiration. It was really a great feeling to play renju in such country. Among the interesting activities, the renju players could enjoy playing the football game against local football club players. Anders Henningsson and Andrey Khramov were the most skilful players in renju players team.
China is the country where the renju is growing really fast in past years. By the beginning of the 6th World Championship there were many strong renju players in China. But only because of lack of experience of such level competition, the Chinese players failed to pass the International Qualification Tournament. However, according to the RIF rules, the hosting country will get 1 sure seat in A-final, which meant that only top 4 from QT will qualify to finals instead of top 5. But when the Latvian Federation announced the cancellation of their National Place in A-final because of absence of their best players, the Qualification Tournament got back the original 5 seats.
Since Russia and Sweden had failed in the last World Championship and they had to begin with QT, they were so eager to make up the losses of the past. And they did great! There were 4 Russians and 1 Swede in the top 5 of the QT, which allowed them to enter the A-final. Excellent comeback! Now the only question was, will they get even further? Do they conquer for the places in the top of A-final?
Of course! Russia and Sweden players were determined to prove that the last World Championship failure was just an accident and they true strength was about to be shown. So it happened. Japanese were pushed out of top 3 completely for the first time in the history of World Championships! Russian player Igor Sinyov got the 2nd place and Swedish player Stefan Karlsson the 3rd place. The World Champion of 1997, Kazuto Hasegawa, could not bear the leadership this time and failed to enter the top 3. Japanese would have needed the support of Hideki Nara, with biggest experience - he had participated in all World Championships until 1999. And now that Nara was absent, Japanese were lacking a stable player in their team.
Ando Meritee and Ants Soosõrv from Estonia were well prepared and got good places. Ants could have gotten even better place perhaps if his physical health condition had not let him down. Because of fever, he had to skip one round against Makarov and played many other games with obviously weakened physical strength. But his fighting spirit did not leave him and he struggled up to the 5th place despite all the setbacks. Great player! Igor Sinyov's second place may have been surprise for some observers, but all the players of A-final who knew him well were not surprised a bit - Igor is just as strong as his 2nd place shows. The same goes for Stefan Karlsson - his 3rd place was fully deserved after years of hard work!
Organizers had done a great job. The games of the last round were shown in demonstration boards live on national television. Hideki Nara was invited to comment those games for TV show.
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