Portugal and Spain together in the Iberia Cup
- Created on Thursday, 16 February 2012 22:01
- Last Updated on Wednesday, 28 November 2012 18:00
- Written by Martin Rep
AMSTERDAM - Austria and Hungary have cooperated for years in organizing their national mahjong championships. The player with the best accumulated results in the two tournaments wins the Sisi Cup, named after the empress Sisi (1837-’98) of the Double Monarchy Austria Hungary (1867-1918).The national mahjong organizations of Portugal (in formation) and Spain now are copying this success formula. This year, for the first time, the Iberia Cup will be held. On May, 26th~27th, part I will take place in Spain, most likely in Murcia; one week later, on June 2nd~3rd, the players can meet again in Portugal, at Povoa de Varzim.
For Spain, it will be the fourth open championship, but for Portugal, the national championship will be its first entry on the international mahjong stage. Rui Manuel Machado is one of the rare Portuguese mahjong players. Another well-know Portuguese is Paula Pereira Gomes, but she lives, works and plays in the Netherlands, where she is even a member of the executive committee of the Dutch mahjong association.
But this all does not prevent organizer Rui Machado from being quite optimistic about the forthcoming tournament.“I am trying to make a local club”, he tells Mahjong News. “We are starting with some players to come together every Friday. And I am organizing some workshops in order to raise enthusiasm for the game.”
Rui hopes for a modest, yet promising start of the Portuguese championship. “I am not sure how many Portuguese will come”, he says. “Maybe twelve, maybe twenty. And we are hoping that eight, or perhaps fifteen players from other countries will join us.”
He is quite proud about the venue he has chosen for the competition: the seaside resort of Povoa de Varzim. “It is a nice small city, 50,000 inhabitants, it is located near the beach, it has a lovely place to walk, and there is a direct metro from the airport. The main low cost air companies are flying to Porto.”
Just like Austria and Hungary, Spain and Portugal have historical ties. From 1580 to 1640, Portugal was part of the Iberian Union under the House of Habsburg. In 1640, John IV spearheaded an uprising backed by disgruntled nobles and was proclaimed king. (Source: Wikipedia)