(left to right) Jianzhong Jiang (3rd), Joël Ratsimandresy (2nd), Baohua Sun (1st) (photo credit: Denis Lugannikov)

XI'AN, China - After three days of thrilling play, while mahjong fans all over the world were holding their breath, Chinese player Baohua Sun claims the highly prestigious title of World Champion. Runner-up is French Joël Ratsimandresy, and in third position Jianzhong Jiang from Canada.

Day 2, Russian Denis Lugannikov is concentrating on his game (source: FB page Joël Ratsimandresy)

XI'AN, China - After two days of play and eight sessions at the "Fifth World Mahjong Championship", only thirteen players have a shot at the crown. Baohua Sun is in the lead, scoring 30 table points. In second place Jianzhong Jiang with 28 table points, and with the same amount of table points, but less mini-points Joël Ratsimandresy. 

Alexander Doppelhofer during one of the welcome speeches

XI'AN, China - At this moment the 'Grand New World Hotel' in Xi'an is the battleground of the "Fifth World Mahjong Championship" (26-28 October - MCR rules). Yesterday the '2017 China Majiang Culture Exchange Congress' took place, there was an opportunity for Chinese (!) participants to discuss the MCR ruleset and in the evening players could enjoy the welcome ceremony.