[This is from the tournament held in Paris December 2012]
Writing interesting tournament reports isn’t easy. Do you go for a more objective tone? Or do you go for a more personal experience? I’m not sure yet to be honest. However, I have a bit of both for this one.
The French have quickly put themselves on the riichi mah-jong map. There is no doubt about that. There were two tournaments in France this year. All have been excellent. The quality of players is particularly high, which is why their tournaments have a very international feel. The rest of Europe wants to try their hand against the French!
The tournament was a ‘smaller’ tournament of 56 players. There were XX nationalities represented. Everyone I spoke to commented on the friendliness of the participants and certainly I didn’t hear any rules arguments at tables, which there have been in some recent tournaments (excepting the usual calculation ‘debates’).
For myself, I have a very sad experience to share with you. It’s sort of like a What Would you Discard, if you could go back in time… I would love to hear what others would do in this situation. At the time, I had a dora in my hand (not shown). It was the fifth discard from the end. One green dragon had recently been discarded and there was someone else looking dangerous so I knew it was safe. Maybe I did the right thing, I don’t know… But it’s going to haunt me for a long time.
Apart from that, the first day went well! I got some big hands and some big scores. I went home feeling pretty chuffed with myself. Finally! I was back to playing well.
The second day, and… I was back to my more usual form as of late. Compounded by one hand that I reached on my third discard (I was East) only to sit there frustrated for an entire game. On the very last tile (haitei) I pull and throw into a double ron. I can’t even chastise myself for not defending, I’d already made my bed 15 tiles prior.
Ah well! Xxkime tweeted something like its good luck when you win and poor skill when you lose. It’s a good motto to have. It means that you need to up your skill to get better. You can’t just abandon all hope because lady luck doesn’t love you.
I got to play some really good players, including all of those who took home a trophy. I always particularly like playing with Nicholas from France. He knows how to play good riichi. I also think we should all be watching a Finnish player called Konsta (I hope I got that information correct?!) – very impressive play.
Was there any gossip at the tournament? Well… Nothing that will make the front pages. However, Martin Lester (UK) was explaining his plans for a table arrangement system that would change depending on your current total scores. He intends to try out his system on the 6th April in Oxford at the tournament he is arranging. Look out for it!
This might be my last European tournament for a while now… I’ll keep you updated on the reason why!