Wednesday 30 July 2014

A Bruising Battle

PUTEAUX, France, July 29th - A few hours ago, the Japanese Professional Mahjong League JPML posted a video of the final hanchan of the World Riichi Mahjong Championship. In this hanchan, which lasted for over two hours, a bruising battle took place between four Japanese: Hiroshi Yamai, Kazuhiko Nishijima, Jun Nishikawa and Noriyuki Kiriyama.

Martin Rep resigns


PUTEAUX, July 16th - Martin Rep, founder of Mahjong News, resigns as the editor of the one and only Independent Internet Mahjong Newspaper. He made his decision public in a speech which he delivered during the opening ceremony of the World Riichi Championship in Puteaux. He will be succeeded by Scott D. Miller, who has been an associate editor for some months.

Mr. Rep (1946) is a professional journalist. He was involved in organizing the first Open European Mahjong Championship (Nijmegen, 2005) and the first European Riichi Mahjong Championship (Hanover, 2008). The World Riichi Championship 2014 was initialized by him.

Mr. Scott D. Miller is the author of the mahjong instruction book ‘Mahjong From A to Zhú’ (Psionic Press 2013) and an instructor of the game at Amarillo College. He played in the European Riichi Mahjong Championship 2013 in Austria and was a referee in the World Riichi Mahjong Championship.


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Will this be the venue of the OEMC 2013?

The sports hall in DunaújvárosDUNAÚJVÁROS - This may be the place where the Fifth Open European Mahjong Championship will take place. András Boda, the flamboyant president of Magyar Mah-Jong Szövetség, the Hungarian mahjong association, is quite satisfied with the venue where the Fourth Open Hungarian was held. Because he considers this event as a rehearsal for the OEMC in 2013.

‘We are ready for it’, says András. “This is a perfect location. It is a sports-hall, like the Danes used in Copenhagen during the OEMC 2007. But I think this one is better. So, after the next OEMC, in Mestre in Italy, I think we may stand up for the organization of the European championship.”


One thing is for sure: the tournaments in Hungary are quite special. Even though they are being organized in a town which may hardly be called attractive. Dunaújváros (‘new town on the Donau’) was built in the 1950’s during the industrialization of the country under socialist rule, as site of a large iron and steel works. Initially it was called Sztálinváros, ‘Stalin city’, as a parallel to Stalingrad in the Soviet Union.
Since 2006, four national mahjong championships were organized in the city. The atmosphere during these events were just as unique as the heartwarming hospitality of the Hungarians. The food may be simple, but it is quite good and often delicious. And, above all: it is very cheap. The same goes for the stay in the city.
“The subscription fee for Copenhagen 2007 was €170”, says András. “Same price in Baden last week. I am sure we can do it less expensive.” Almost all mahjong players stay at the Kerpely Hostel, situated at a two minutes’ walk from the new venue, the Dunaújváros High School’s Sports and Event Hall. Staying at the Kerpely Hostel costs next to nothing.
András: “The previous venues we used for the mahjong championships, such as the local theatre, were free. This one we had to pay for. Still, we decided to use this one, since we think it is better.”



András Boda‘Andy’ has also hope that Mahjong Hungary may get some money from sponsors. “I know this did not work in Copenhagen and Baden. But here it is different. I think the city council will consider it good publicity for Dunaújváros.”
The participants to the Hungarian Open 2009 were quite satisfied with the accommodation in the sports hall. The air conditioning was all right, whilst the temperatures outside were over 30 degrees Celsius. András is sure that there will also be no problems when the hall will be filled with some two hundred mahjong players.
There is just one problem. Until now, organizing the mahjong championships in Hungary was done almost solely by András and his friend Zsolt Nyulasi. “The people here will have to realize that we need a lot more hands for a OEMC”, says Boda. “We will really need a lot of help.”
And, he adds with a smile: “Also, Zsolt and I will have to learn to delegate things.”


Location of the Dunaújváros High School's Sports and Events Hall

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