Friday 27 February 2015

Conquering the Mountain in Kathmandu: A Mahjong Sojourn


KATHMANDU Nepal, February 21st - When I first arrived in Kathmandu, the airport arrivals curb was busy and alive! The locals, noting a foreigner had arrived in their midst, surrounded me asking me all manner of questions as to the nature of my stay. Was I there to climb Mount Everest? Was I in need of a Sherpa guide? Did I have a ride to base camp at the foot of the mountain? Looking around at my fellow passangers, and the gear they were collecting from the terminal, there among them were backpack frames, ropes, cleated boots, and all manner of climbing paraphinalia. There was no doubt Kathmandu was the launching basin for brave expeditions to climb up the face of the tallest and most formidible mountain in the world. But I was in Kathmandu to conquer a mountain of a different sort; a mountan of tiles—Mahjong.

Scott D. Miller, MD of Mahjong News travels to Nepal to talk mahjong, learn new styles, and build new bonds in the basin city of Kathmandu, nestled in the shadows of the tallest mountain in the world.



Li Li World Champion Mahjong 2007

Runner-up was Zhang Zhangfei, also from China, whilst the third place was for a Japanese: Minoru Imaeda. Amongst the 16 players who were admitted to the final round, was just one non-Asian player: Ms. Désirée Heemskerk from the Netherlands, who ended on position # 10. There were 144 players: from China, Japan, Europe (represented by the European Mahjong Association, EMA) and the United States.

The best team was China Shanxi Jiexiu (94 table points), followed by China Shanghai Zhangjiang (83 points) and Japan Mahjong Sport Association Osaka (80). Best non-Asian team was Désirée's Rotterdam team, on position number 11 (63 points).

During the Award Ceremony, which took place some hours after the WMC, the new world champion received an invitation to come and play in the Open European Mahjong Championship 2009, which will be held in Baden (Austria), near Vienna. His airline ticket, hotel cost and subscription fee will be paid by the organizing committee of OEMC 2009.

 Final results WMC 2007 individual

 Final results WMC 2007 teams



A reconstruction of the 'Last Ju' of the World Mahjong Championship

Diary Chengdu

Mr. Martin Rep, editor of Mahjong News, was in Chengdu to play in the WMC, together with his wife Dicky. Five years ago, both also played in the 2002 World Championship in Mahjong, which was held in Tokyo, Japan. Read his 'Chengdu Diary'.

 Diary Chengdu

Another World Series

The World Mahjong Championship and the World Series are not to be confused with the '2007 World Series of Mahjong'. This tournament took place in Macau last June, with large money prizes. The first prize, half a million US dollar, was won by a player from Hong Kong. Also, on this tournament not the Mahjong Competition Rules were used, but the Zung Jung (Hong Kong mahjong variant) rules.

More info about the Macau tournament

The 2002 World Championship in Mahjong

The 'First World Mahjong Championship' is organized by the World Mahjong Organization, which was founded during the Third Open China Majiang Championship 2006 (Beijing). However, the WMC is actually the second world championship in mahjong. The very first championship was held in Tokyo, November 2002, in co-operation between the Mahjong Museum, the city council of Ningbo (China) and the Japan Mahjong Organizing Committee (JMOC). These organizations have supported initiatives for the foundation of WMO, as an international body to take care of a world mahjong championship on a regular base.

Thus, JMOC and WMO have agreed on calling the WMC 2007 the 'First World Mahjong Championship'.

 More about the 2002 World Championship in Mahjong

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