Archive for the ‘Gemma’s Journal’ Category
Jul 13th, 2014
It’s here (almost!). I’m tired, though… It’s been a lot more work than I think I anticipated. I also learned the very hard lesson that it is never ever ever possible to please everyone.
May 16th, 2014
Now we have the names of the WRC participants, we need a way to put them in their seats. Cue more controversy!
May 5th, 2014
I’ve been quiet over the last few months for one main reason – the World Riichi Championship 2014.
Jan 6th, 2014
This is an exciting year for riichi fans! The World Riichi Championship is almost upon us!
And with it… Controversy! Check out the comments sections of MahjongNews.com if you want to read the conflicting opinions. It’s very interesting.
Forgive me if I sound excited about that aspect. But I am. It means people are caring about this awesome game.
One of the ‘controversies’ that did surprise me was that players are requested to be able to score without a score sheet. I actually did not anticipate this request to be as revolutionary as it seems to be.
The main crux of the problem seems to be that people don’t think it’s possible for mere amateurs to learn that scoring sheet. Let me dispel that myth. Of course it’s possible. You just need to put a little bit of time in to it.
If you think it’s unreasonable that you’re asked to learn the scoring table… I’m sorry but you’re wrong. If you want to play a game to any proficiency, you have to know the basic rules of that game. Scoring is fairly basic. It is not unreasonable.
The other complaint I’ve heard is that people don’t think there is any value in learning this. I’m afraid I vehemently disagree with you. There is so much value and it will improve your game.
If you’re looking to jump a place towards the end, there is no point risking your neck to make a 3 yaku 50 fu hand when a safe 2 yaku 40 fu hand will achieve the same end. How will you know this? By having a good understanding of the scoring sheet.
So… Now I’ve pushed my unsolicited opinion, how do I think you can do this? I don’t have a hard and fast rule. It depends how your brain works. I’ve heard some people like to know the math behind it. Others just brute force it into their heads. I’m the latter.
What I would recommend is starting by learning the 20, 30 and 40 fu lines. You’ll be able to score the vast majority of hands then. Once those are in your head, the rest will start to follow a pattern of sorts. And if you do get a 90 fu hand in the meantime, no decent person is going to roll their eyes if you want to check.
I guarantee it will improve your game and when we finally welcome Japanese players to our shores, they will appreciate the level that we’re playing at.
Oct 9th, 2012
I often get asked about translating Japanese pro blogs. My almost immediate reaction is “Why?”
Aug 12th, 2012
We’re doing employee performance reviews in the office at the moment. Typically, a time where you work out what you did well and what you did not so well. The aim being to keep doing what you do well and fix what you didn’t do so well.
Why not review my Mahjong performance at the same time? Anyone who knows me will be aware that my performance at tournaments recently has been pretty poor. When I say recently…I mean twelve months or so. Therefore a performance review is well due!
Oct 14th, 2011
It’s been a long time since I taught Mahjong. First time was in Taiwan when I was still a student. Second time was when I was back in the UK. Third time was last year in Frankfurt. I’ve had mixed successes and failures but I think overall people have enjoyed themselves (or at least they still return my calls…).
After hauling my Mahjong table up to the fourth floor where my new apartment is, I thought it was finally time to get playing on it. Not having any mahjong-playing friends close, my only option was to make some.
Sep 14th, 2010
It’s been a long time since I could anticipate that I would be anywhere for longer than six months so I have shyed away from teaching people mahjong, knowing that I would probably have to leave them just as they really got into it. However, I finally have a proper job and a place with a decent table to play mahjong on so I figured it was time to give something back to the community.
Jun 25th, 2010
Sitting in the Premier Inn in Guildford waiting for the tournament… It seemed like a good time to write about pre-tourney rituals.
Jun 7th, 2010
Mahjong Time have just introduced a system to try and discourage non-attendance at online tournaments; a deposit that will be refunded upon completion of the tournament. If you fail to turn up, that deposit is forfeit. Awesome idea or a tax on the muddle-minded?