Vive la France - but the Dutch win
- Created on Sunday, 18 September 2011 21:01
- Last Updated on Wednesday, 28 November 2012 18:00
- Written by Martin Rep
UTRECHT - It was a close race, but finally the Dutch beat the French in the Open Dutch Riichi Mahjong Championship 2011. So it was not Jean-Marc Dedieu, who was in the lead after the first day of the championship; nor was it Nicolas Poilleux, the number one after seven hanchan. It was not even Sjef Strik, who led the classification when the last hanchan started. Finally, it was Dutchman Bert Claessen who had scored the most points during nine difficult sessions. His fellow-countryman Sjef Strik was the runner up, and Nicolas Poilleux from France was the best foreigner with his third position.
68 players competed in this first two days' Dutch riichi competition. Again, the French players were the real trendsetters in this tournament, just as they had been in other riichi competitions during the past year. Even though, in the end, they fell short to take the Dutch open title back home, the young French proved to have a real understanding of the spirit of riichi, while the style of playing of many of the Dutch still wears traces of the old Chinese classical game they were brought up with.
A way of playing which, however, often is quite effective. For straight-forward riichi players it is sometimes hard to find the right answer to it. But eventually, the genuine riichi players were the real champions in this competition. Bert Claessen is a cunning riichi player; and Sjef Strik nowadays only shows up in tournaments in the 'Japanese style'.
But there were not only Dutch and French players in the national minds sport centre 'The Bumble Bee' at Utrecht. The small German delegation had some very strong players. Russian player Sergey Dedikov this time was not as successful as he was before. Gemma Collinge, the ReachMahjong.Com babe, just made it to the top-thirty. Tom Mustonen from Finland did much better and landed in fourth position. And this is just a random pick of the long list of foreigners.
A very remarkable hand was scored during this championship. In the sixth hanchan, Gertjan Davies from the Netherlands made a nagashi mangan. He had discarded only terminal and honor tiles, none of which was claimed by one of the other players. When the game ended in a draw, he was rewarded with a 5 Han hand (mangan), and he also received the riichi chip one of the players had gambled.
Final results of the Dutch Riichi Open 2011
|Rank.||First N.||Last N.||Nat.||Pt.|
|16||Yvonne||van der Heide||NLD||61.000|
|55||Gert||van der Vegt||NLD||-71.500|
|56||Sohana Ma Prem||Troostheide||NLD||-72.400|
|62||Pauline||van der Linden||NLD||-93.800|
|65||Ad||van der Linden||NLD||-126.100|