(from left) Marieke Verheyden (3rd), Martha Pasterkamp (1st), Barry de Vos (2nd) (photo credit: Fons Oude Engberink)

HEEMSTEDE, The Netherlands - By the skin of her teeth last year's 'most funny Valentine' Dutch Martha Pasterkamp wins the tenth edition of the "Valentine Tournament" (MERS) with 14 table points and 516 mini-points, followed by fellow countryman Barry de Vos scoring 14 table points and 499 mini-points, while Belgian Marieke Verheyden claims third position with 13 table points and 447 mini-points.

Without a doubt MCR mahjong club 'Bamboe Acht' ('Eight Bams') hosts its annual "Valentine Tournament" at the most beautiful tournament location on the Dutch tournament circuit: 'Atheneum College Hageveld' at 'Estate Hageveld' in Heemstede. Originally designed as a seminary and currently in use as a high school, the monumental building created by Johannes Stuyt, renowned architect of religious buildings in the Netherlands in the 20th century, was erected between 1919-1922 in the (revisited) Dutch Classical style and hasn't lost any of his overwhelming impact on its visitors.

Jubilee tournament

Not only the building appeals to participants: over the years 'Bamboe Acht' has build a solid reputation of hosting excellent events with great attention to detail, warmly welcoming national players and competitors from neighboring countries Belgium and Germany. For this year's jubilee tournament one hundred and thirty-two players flocked to Heemstede to compete in four sessions in two very distinct leagues: eighty-four in the competitive league (which results will count towards the EMA and national ranking) and forty-eight in the recreational league (which results become meaningless beyond this tournament).* Salient detail: despite being heavily outnumbered by the Dutch three of the ten Belgian players managed to secure a top-10 position.

Tournament overview (photo credit: Fons Oude Engberink)

Final Results of the Valentine Tournament (MCR, MERS), Heemstede

Place Name Nat TP MP
1 Martha Pasterkamp NLD 14 516
2 Barry de Vos NLD 14 499
3 Marieke Verheyden BEL 13 447
4 Anneke Keyl NLD 13 319
5 Irma Michiels BEL 13 147
6 Luuk van Balkum NLD 12 420
7 Herma van Mourik NLD 12 320
8 Eugenie Teunissen NLD 12 262
9 Peter Van Damme BEL 12 250
10 Janine van Wijk NLD 11 636
11 Chris De Roock BEL 11 362
12 Ria van der Putten NLD 11 245
13 Marianne Croeze NLD 11 226
14 Yannick Michiels BEL 10,5 251
15 Martin van Thiel NLD 10 343
16 Pauline van der Linden NLD 10 310
17 Anja van Oorsouw NLD 10 173
18 Désirée Heemskerk NLD 10 166
19 Twan van den Nieuwendijk NLD 10 53
20 Dennis Boekstaaf NLD 9 221
21 René Schellekens NLD 9 193
22 Christien Kruijsse-Kal NLD 9 151
23 Gert van der Vegt NLD 9 -36
24 Ed Woons NLD 9 -104
25 Olav Sommers NLD 8,5 132
26 Nino Aringaneng NLD 8,5 37
27 Yvonne van der Heide NLD 8,5 30
28 Cees van den Brink NLD 8 223
29 Jessica Heyliger NLD 8 96
30 Rudi Kopmanis BEL 8 95
31 Tonny van der Bie NLD 8 89
32 Jan Warbout NLD 8 89
33 Ans Hoogland NLD 8 84
34 Jaap Croeze NLD 8 80
35 Grea Donk NLD 8 74
36 Hilde Pevernagie BEL 8 21
37 Menno van Lienden NLD 7 136
38 Janco Onnink NLD 7 36
39 Jos Dermout NLD 7 14
40 Lies Boskamp NLD 7 -2
41 Jacqueline Oudshoorn NLD 7 -7
42 Marjan van den Nieuwendijk NLD 7 -34
43 José Hoogland-ten Have NLD 7 -47
44 Vera Drost NLD 7 -62
45 Leo Elferink NLD 6 40
46 Wil Meijer-Kal NLD 6 5
47 Chris Scheffler NLD 6 -27
48 Eveline Broers NLD 6 -36
49 Gerda van Oorschot NLD 6 -65
50 Piet Scholte NLD 6 -82
51 Rudy Wong-Chung NLD 6 -86
52 Diana Westdijk NLD 6 -97
53 Paul Deege NLD 6 -100
54 Leni Janssen NLD 6 -126
55 Hanneke Morel NLD 6 -197
56 Sandra van Wijngaarden NLD 6 -242
57 Anja van den Boogaart NLD 5 25
58 Ad van der Linden NLD 5 21
59 Trees Meijer NLD 5 -66
60 Ronald Lammers NLD 5 -66
61 Oscar van den Nieuwendijk NLD 5 -141
62 Marleen Dewolf BEL 5 -192
63 Dimphy van Grinsven NLD 4 -106
64 Mattheu van Oorsouw NLD 4 -129
65 Ineke Koster NLD 4 -133
66 Joke de Jong NLD 4 -182
67 Sabine Manten DEU 4 -211
68 Marjoleine Lips NLD 4 -214
69 Janie Nolten NLD 4 -367
70 Jakko de Vries NLD 4 -420
71 Aty de Groot NLD 4 -423
72 Emma Mouwen BEL 3,5 -354
73 Janny van der Meer NLD 3 -220
74 Annie Hagman NLD 3 -221
75 Linda Geudens BEL 3 -262
76 Zeger de Jong NLD 3 -264
77 Harry Kal NLD 3 -305
78 Petra Elferink NLD 3 -333
79 Gerard van der Bie NLD 3 -366
80 Leny Schaaders NLD 2 -223
81 Mieke Weber NLD 2 -257
82 Berry Heijn NLD 2 -311
83 Anita Van Hoof NLD 1,5 -402
84 Rik Scholten NLD 0 -429

*) The participants in the competitive league make use of the rule set described in WMO's "The Green Book", while the recreational players play a watered-down version in which being helpful to opponents is key (e.g. assisting in scoring the winner's hand).