This Season’s Featured Players: The Final Session

As part of our quest to bring you closer to the best mahjong players in the world and get a little bit more inside their heads, Jenn and I have each chosen a couple players in particular whose performance we’ll follow a little more closely. I’m following Takizawa and Miyauchi Kozue. Who knows, maybe we’ll learn a little something from them too. By the way, Takizawa is mostly known endearingly throughout the league as “Takki”, which is what I’ll be referring to him as here too.

Active Image Kazunori Takizawa

“After 10 years in the pro league this was the first time I ever had to fight to keep from dropping down a league.I was in a position where I had to pass 2 people on my table or risk dropping down…In the end I was able to keep my position in A2 but Mahjong isn’t a game that can be decided in 1 game so my result is a coincidence.I’m worried that this will continue in the future.I think I played enough this year, but maybe I didn’t practice the A-rules enough… Next season I will definitely move up to A1! Is the attitude that I want to stick to and fight for it everyday.”

Active Image Hisato Sasaki

“In the final session, realistically, I was in a difficult position as far as moving up goes. I felt more like I had to do everything I could to not fall into the group of 6 that would move down. From the moment it ended my motivation for next season was high. I want to hurry up and make my way to A1.”

Active Image
Saki Kurosawa

“I needed 80 points to move up and played too straight-forward and ended up playing some messed up Mahjong. I’m looking back on that now.

Next season I want to move up to B-league. No, I don’t want to, I will do it!!”

Active ImageKozue Miyauchi

“I was in first place going into the final session and I had my eye on first place.

Even before the league began, I was going over how I would play on that day in my head.

I was 70 points ahead of 2nd place, so as long as I didn’t get a negative score then it looked like I could win.

But, I kept attacking.

The first game started and I went into the final hand as the dealer feeling a bit off my game. I was at a small positive 2nd place. I got ready with a 7700 point Inside Hand. There was a chance to change to 3-Colored Runs so I didn’t Reach. Then the player to my left Reached. If I folded then I probably wouldn’t be negative, but I fought back.

And then I discarded his winner.

I ended up with a negative 3rd place.

I guess I really am having a bad day.

In the 2nd game I decided to be more conservative.

But then everyone else drew their winners and I ended up in last place.

At this point I started to panic but I still had a bit point lead and somehow I calmed down before the 3rd game.

But then I threw another player’s 13 Orphans winner in the 3rd hand of the South round.

For a second my head just went white. At this rate with 3rd, 4th and 4th there was no way that I could win now. And this time I lost even more than the 30,000 starting points.It was over…

I had practically given up. And then I remembered something that Takeo Kojima had told me. The only things that you can never do in Mahjong are panic and give up!

That’s right. This tournament wasn’t over yet. All I could do was do my best in the last game.

The result was 1st place with over 50,000 points.

It was a roller coaster of a final session but somehow I came out on top.

I feel like I learned a lot this season.

Somehow my wish of moving up in 1st place was realized, next season I want to aim for 1st place again.

Thank you everyone for supporting me this season.

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