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Sweden, Arjeplog, August 1993 (08-08 - 08-12), RIF rule

Final standings:

1Meritee AndoEstonia 0110½111111
2Nara HidekiJapan1 0111½101½18
3Reims AldisLatvia01 0111½½1½1
4Kozhin MikhailRussia001 101111017
5Hasegawa KazutoJapan1000 10½1111
6Soosõrv AntsEstonia½0010 011111
7Sagara TakashiJapan0½0011 01011
8Sundling IngvarSweden00½0½01 1½11
9Mikhailov NikolayUzbekistan01½00000 ½114
10Karlsson StefanSweden0000001½½ ½1
11Nikonov KonstantinRussia0½½100000½ 0
12Poghosyan AlbertArmenia00000000001 1

The 3rd Renju World Championship took place in Arjeplog, Sweden, August 8-13, 1993.
This time it was Swedish Renju Federation's turn to host the World Championship as previous two events were organized by other two RIF founder members - Japan and USSR.

The location of the 3rd World Championship was a beautiful northern part of Sweden - Arjeplog. All who went there got unforgettable memories about the purity and beauty of the environment, and the peace in the town. It was a perfect place to relax the mind and play the best renju. Organizers had a very good team work there! Everything was arranged in excellent manner. The tournament hall was located in the local Cultural Center, and it was about 10 minute walk away from the hotels where the tournament players lived, passing along the nice road between beautiful lakes. Tournament players could enjoy the fascilities of the tournament hall - even the dining room was brought to be next door to playing hall.

To allow the players of A-final focus on games without being distracted by observers, the organizers had set up the video cameras above the game boards, and 6 monitors in the lobby offered live video show at all times. There were always lots of people standing in front of those monitors and studied the games of masters.
The entertaining part of the World Championship event was the outing of all the renju players to the Arctic Circle - the circle on earth, above from which can occur the days without daylight and nights without darkness. Some renju players tried fishing in the pure lakes of Northern Sweden, full of fish. It was really a good contrast to previous two World Championships.

This World Championship was played under new qualification rules. The finals of World Championship were preceded by the International Qualification tournament. The Qualification Tournament were played right before the beginning of A-final, allowing 1 rest day between those two tournaments. The top 3 of the Qualification tournament (Ando Meritee, Ants Soosõrv, Nikolay Mikhailov) got the seats in A-final where 9 other players were waiting already.

Everybody was waiting Nakamura to come to Sweden to take the 3rd World Champion title in a row - but for everybody's surprise Nakamura did not go to Europe this time. Although Japanese could still come up with very strong team - Hideki Nara, Kazuto Hasegawa, Takashi Sagara - it was not so clear anymore who would become a new World Champion.

Most people were sure that one of the Japanese will surely get the gold medal, but whether they get all 3 best seats, it was not so sure anymore, based on the trends of previous World Championship.

Hideki Nara who had started successfully, and was the main favorite in the whole tournament, did not have luck in the end, and lost his World Champion title in the last round. Had he gotten at least a draw from the last game, he would have become a World Champion. Ando Meritee, playing his first World Championship in renju, was surely unexperienced compared to Nara, but the luck and fighting spirit helped him to catch the gold medal in front of Nara, having won the game of the last round. It was hard to predict the new World Champion after the 6th round when Meritee had only 3.5 points from 6 games. However, the 5 straight wins in the end brought the first place, with the narrowest gap in the history of the World Championhsips.

Ando Meritee