(from left) Simon Fongue (2nd), Marieke Verheyden (1st), Olivier Roy (3rd) (photo credit: Sophie Kemper)

LEUVEN, Belgium - Belgium's highest-ranked EMA player Marieke Verheyden takes first prize at the "Red Lotus Tournament 2018" (MERS), scoring 25 table points and 974 mini-points. French Simon Fongue and his fellow countryman Olivier Roy follow with 23 table points and 762 mini-points, and 20 table points and 415 mini-points respectively.

Belgium is the land of chocolate, beer and fries. The “Rode Lotus” ["Red Lotus"] club offered all three of them at the third edition of their tournament in home town Leuven. The university town organized a small tournament in 2016 and extended their third edition to two days and seven rounds. Due to an airline strike and fully booked hotels for the weekend preceding the university’s academic year – 14 players cancelled their registration. 51 players managed to reach the venue on Saturday morning and were welcomed with chocolates shaped like mahjong tiles.

Marieke Verheyden – one of the tournament’s organizers, joined as replacement for the 52th player. Marieke is playing really well in 2018, taking the third place at the Dutch Valentine Tournament and winning the other Belgian tournament in Temse. This was her first victory since Murcia in 2013. While most players enjoyed a gigant cake shaped like a dot one tile on Saturday, a vegetable buffet complemented with a food truck serving fries and meat snacks on Sunday and local strong ales on both days, stand-in player Marieke clearly took the lead on both days and won six of her seven tables. Marieke ranked first after the second round and stayed on top for the rest of the weekend. French players Simon Fongue and Olivier Roy took the second and third place. The top 10 was complemented with players from 5 of the 6 countries present at the Rode Lotus Tournament.

The tournament’s organizer told MahjongNews there will be two two-day tournaments in Belgian next year. The “De Kleine 3 Draken” tournament will take place for the 11th (!!!) time on the first weekend of March 2019 in Temse. The fourth edition of the "Rode Lotus Tournament" is scheduled on September 28 and 29, 2019.

Tournament overview (photo credit: Sophie Kemper)

Final Results of the Red Lotus Tournament 2018 (MCR, MERS), Leuven

Rank   Surname Nat TP MP
1 Marieke VERHEYDEN BEL 25 974
2 Simon BOUNKEO FONGUE FRA 23 762
3 Olivier ROY FRA 20 415
4 Anton KÖSTERS NED 18 768
5 Lies NAERT BEL 17 243
6 Daniela NATALI ITA 17 26
7 Hubert VIGNAUD FRA 16 332
8 Irma MICHIELS BEL 16 252
9 Olav SOMMERS NED 16 48
10 Mattheu VAN OORSOUW NED 16 38
11 Peter VAN DAMME BEL 15 447
12 Annabel DI DOMENICO FRA 15 416
13 Erik VAN BALKUM NED 15 214
14 Cédric AGUERRE FRA 15 111
15 Ad VAN DER LINDEN NED 15 22
16 Oscar VAN DEN NIEUWENDIJK NED 14 180
17 Gérard HÊCHE SUI 14 88
18 Luc HUMBERT SUI 14 68
19 Jos DERMOUT BEL 14 62
20 Matthieu PFEIFFER FRA 14 31
21 Chris DE ROOCK BEL 13 554
22 Jili PFEIFFER FRA 13 227
23 Eva DEMICHEL FRA 13 -192
24 Thérèse ROBLIN FRA 12 -26
25 Jean-Louis BARBET FRA 12 -82
26 Jerome SAHAL FRA 12 -142
27 Sandra BONDOIN FRA 12 -233
28 Emma MOUWEN BEL 11 96
29 Annie MANZO FRA 11 13
30 Benjamin KAM BEL 11 -31
31 Anja VAN OORSOUW NED 11 -50
32 Joël RATSIMANDRESY FRA 11 -230
33 Christiane D'ANGELO FRA 10 -36
34 Caroline ARNAUD FRA 10 -57
35 Pauline VAN DER LINDEN NED 10 -143
35 Eveline BROERS NED 10 -143
37 Marjan VAN DEN NIEUWENDIJK NED 9 16
38 Martin VAN THIEL NED 9 -34
39 Timur HAHN GER 9 -54
40 Jacqueline OUDSHOORN NED 9 -244
41 Domenico SANSEVIERI ITA 9 -286
42 Sandra VAN WIJNGAARDEN NED 9 -326
43 Bruno MANZO FRA 9 -542
44 Dimphy VAN GRINSVEN NED 8 -74
45 Josiane DELBOS FRA 8 -245
46 Aty DE GROOT NED 8 -267
47 Gerda VAN OORSCHOT NED 8 -307
48 Anne Sophie BONNEAU FRA 8 -478
49 Lionel LEGAIE FRA 7 -392
50 Marjoleine LIPS NED 7 -490
51 Jan WARBOUT NED 5 -755
52 Pevernagie HILDE BEL 4 -564

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