Podium of the French Riichi Open: (left to right) Ondrej Bellay, Zeyu Sun, Mathieu Chambe

MARSEILLE, France - Zeyu 'Mister Riichi' Sun is the winner of the "French Riichi Open 2017". Being the highest scoring Frenchman this accomplishment also grants him the title of "French Riichi Champion" for one year. Runner-up is Ondrej Bellay from Slovakia; Frenchman Mathieu Chambe ended in third position. In total thirty-two participants from seven countries competed in nine hanchan during two days of thrilling play.

Riichi mahjong club 'Chuuren Potos' ('Nine Gates') had the prestigious task of hosting this year's "French Riichi Open" (RERS2). From the start it was evident this edition would be an extraordinary one: a new game format, an appeal to display good table manners, and the promise of live streaming via Twitch (more info here).

'Tri Nitro Tiles' member Zeyu Sun experienced a very rocky start, finishing his first hanchan with a negative score, which put him in 28th position. But after the third hanchan he was ranked the number one, and his excellent play solified that leading position throughout the tournament. According to the game format the four highest scoring players after seven hanchan would battle it out in the final, which consisted of two hanchan. During the tournament several contestants were eligable for a seat in the final to encounter Zeyu Sun. Dutch Martijn Klaar proved to score very consistently and secured a top-4 position from the 2nd hanchan on. 'Chuuren Potos' member Mathieu Chambe and Slovakian player Ondrej Bellay snatched their seats at the very last moment, namely after hanchan seven.

The top-4 players getting ready for the broadcast on Twitch.

Streaming live

Before entering the last two hanchan only the top-4 players had their scores cut in half, while the rest of the competitors played for ranks five and following (hence the irregularity in the overall ranking). These two hanchan of the top-4 players were streamed live on 'Chuuren Potos' channel on Twitch, with excellent running commentary by Canadian player Sénéchal Duhaut (pseudonym). The live broadcast was a smashing hit with over 250 viewers. After the tournament a recording was uploaded to YouTube where it continues to attract spectators.

The finalists were not distracted by the fact they were on camera, and play ran smoothly. As a special treat they made use of club president Simon Picard's newest invention: a portable tenbo reader. Trying to mimick the experiences he and his wife Seiko Hayase had while playing in 'janso' (Japanese mahjong parlors), he developed a device to ensure all players are aware of each others score/points at any given time. This portable tenbo reader isn't available to the public yet, but will be in the very near future.

From the beginning of the final it was inevitable Zeyu Sun would remain the strongest player in this tournament; Mathieu Chambe (in 2nd), Martijn Klaar (in 3rd), and Ondrej Bellay (in 4th) had an almost equal amount of points. At the beginning of the last hanchan all players were still in their starting positions, but during the last hands a shift in points put Ondrej Bellay in second, Mathieu Chambre in third and Martijn Klaar in fourth.

Final Results of the French Riichi Open (Riichi, RERS 2), Marseille

Place Name Nat. Pts.
1 Zeyu Sun FRA 127.3
2 Ondrej Bellay SVK 48.2
3 Mathieu Chambe FRA 27.7
4 Martijn Klaar NED 14.7
5 Daniel Gahler GER 75.1
6 Kevin Chau FRA 74.9
7 Chaolei Chen FRA 67.1
8 Sergio Matos Lima FRA 63.9
9 Minh-Tri Tran FRA 45.9
10 Sandra Bertommier FRA 33.2
11 Olivier Cao FRA 27.1
12 Philip Bielby GBR 25.1
13 Bryan Manchez FRA 25
14 Konsta Lensu FIN 8.3
15 Christopher Rowe GBR 6
16 Simon Picard FRA -0,9
17 Gemma Sakamoto GBR -5.4
18 Nehuen Panaloza FRA -6.2
19 Guillaume Colom FRA -10.2
20 Nicole Haasbroek NED -14.7
21 Sven-Hendrik Gutsche FRA -34.8
22 Anna Canova Putinier SUI -40.4
23 Cécile Blanc FRA -50.4
24 Anthony Ea FRA -66.2
25 Michael Donaghy GBR -66.5
26 Chantal Tran FRA -70.1
27 Chris Endicott GBR -76.9
28 Zenghua Huang FRA -83.3
29 Nicolas Heinrich FRA -104.3
30 Antoine Rossard FRA -107.9
31 Alexis Gouet FRA -127.5
32 Romain Donsey FRA -132.2

 

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