(from left) Sandra van den Berkt (2nd), Jeroen Meijer (1st), Eileen Kruize (3rd) (photo credit: Koen van Dijk)

HILVERSUM, The Netherlands - Jeroen Meijer convincingly wins the nineteenth edition of the infamous "White Dragon Tournament" scoring 19,604 points, followed by Sandra van den Berkt with 11,660 points, while Eileen Kruize finishes third scoring 10,966 points. Jelle Duinsbergen, victor of the 2017 edition, strands at the number eight spot.

The annual "White Dragon Tournament", one of the oldest tournaments in the Netherlands, is hosted by mahjong society 'De Groene Draak' ('The Green Dragon'); one of the four clubs affiliated with the Dutch Mahjong Association playing by the so-called Dutch Tournament Rules, the local variant of the Chinese Classical Rules. This tournament is the first event in a series of four under this ruleset in 2018; the highest scoring player of these four tournaments will be hailed Dutch Champion upcoming December. In total fifty-two players, members and non-members of the Dutch Mahjong Association, gathered in a community center in the heart of the Netherlands to compete in four rounds. Most participants have vigorously dedicated themselves to this particular style, a practice which is uncommon in the Netherlands (with a few exceptions Dutch participants in MCR and riichi tournaments play multiple styles).

Advocating traditional rules

Even though the Dutch Mahjong Association schedules a modest number of four tournaments following this style per calendar year (compared to six riichi and eight MCR style events), and the number of clubs and members is relatively low in comparison to those of the MCR clubs, the Dutch Tournament Rules are very much alive in the Netherlands. Both established and fairly recently founded clubs 'De Groene Draak', 'Groene Hart', 'De Oostpoort', and 'Pe-ling' continue to advocate this ruleset, promoting and showcasing their beloved pastime whenever they can. Currently Joost van Doorne, member of 'De Groene Draak', is teaching classes helping baby boomers brush up on their knowledge of the fascinating tile game they were initially introduced to in their childhood. Jan Keevel, president of 'Pe-ling', who has been passionately instructing mahjong enthusiasts in Mijdrecht and Wilnis since 2016, will expand this activity upcoming autumn to Vinkeveen and Woerden. Even Jelte Rep himself, world renowned mahjong guru and one of the founding fathers of organized mahjong in the Netherlands, has been teaching classes (e.g. at the 'People's University'); additionally he created a free online course keeping his favorite variant in the limelight (more info on Mr. Rep's website - in Dutch). While MCR currently is the dominating style on the Dutch tournament circuit, in the comfort of their living room and in the company of family and friends most Dutch mahjong aficionados will play by the traditional rules which are handed down through the generations. Hard data on the exact number of said players is not available since they operate beyond the reach of the Dutch Mahjong Association.

Buddhistic mahjong style

Member of the tournament organizing committee Jennemiek van Gestel describes her attraction to the Dutch Tournament Rules: "Following this ruleset not just the winner receives payment, but all players. This makes it worth one's while to chase 'a beautiful hand' or special hands with poetic names such as 'Peking Garden' or 'Winding Snake'. Restrained by the tiles dealt one desperately craves to create the most beautiful hand possible; in that regard one could perceive this style as a Buddhistic mahjong style. Watching my tiles form such a hand, step by step, one tile at a time, gives me a rush." [...] "A tournament is a meeting of dear friends", she explains, adding no referee is needed during these events due to the atmosphere of friendship and camaraderie. "Today everyone enjoyed themselves, and our new tournament location was well received." Additional pictures: here (photography by the hosting club).


Getting ready for round one; in the backround club president Koen van Dijk (photo credit: Jennemiek van Gestel)

Final Results of the White Dragon Tournament 2018 (Dutch Tournament Rules), Hilversum

Place Name Points
1 Jeroen Meijer 19604
2 Sandra van den Berkt 11660
3 Eileen Kruize 10966
4 Janet Visser 10220
5 Hans van der Poel 9952
6 Jan Keevel 9666
7 Harry Kal 8914
8 Jelle Duinsbergen 8138
9 Marcel Tjon-A-Sam 6838
10 Anton Kösters 5284
11 Dennis Bruggink 4499
12 Jit Bertelink 4362
13 Ingrid Houtepen 4046
14 Anja Buurman 3486
15 Patricia Schilte 3172
16 Onno Kiviet 1990
17 Eric-Jan Hartstra 1825
18 Jenneke Kragt 1484
19 Wil Meijer-Kal 1362
20 Herman van den Berg 1183
21 Tommy Tjong 1144
22 Dennis Boekstaaf 838
23 Ria Rep 402
24 Annemie Verhoeven 92
25 Gerrit Kragt 36
26 Caroline van Warmerdam -250
27 Jelte Rep -878
28 Koos van Praag -1573
29 Paul Dekema -2226
30 Colette Wabeke -3404
31 Charlotte Tielrooij -3407
32 Gert van der Vegt -3549
33 Jacqueline Honing -3860
34 Peter den Hartog -3868
35 Gerard de Bie -3954
36 Joost van Doorne -4174
37 Jellie van der Veen -4272
38 Rene Swetter -4316
39 Wim Steur -5142
40 Albert de Bakker -5142
41 Wilma Engelsma -5408
42 Wobbe Kijlstra -5534
43 Sigrid Dekema -5678
44 Dirk Dekema -5696
45 Pauline Brouwer -5760
46 Ada Buisman -6270
47 Karl van 't Hazeveld -6286
48 Kees Buisman -6626
49 Simone Davis -6767
50 Leonie Steur -7330
51 André Rijnders -7507
52 Annemiek Rabs -12286


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