Austria wants next European Riichi Championship, ‘for Europeans only’
- Published on Sunday, 12 September 2010 20:47
- Written by Martin Rep
VIENNA - Austria may very well organize a second European mahjong championship. In 2009, the OEMC (Mahjong Competition Rules) was organized at Baden (near Vienna). Now the Vienna club Kasu has submitted a request at the European Mahjong Association to organize the European Riichi Mahjong Championship 2012. EMA has yet to decide about the application.
Kasu, the Vienna riichi club, has some pronounced ideas about the EC Riichi 2012, ‘to improve the game experience’, says its spokesman Raphael Hobbiger. One proposition is that, apart from a Japanese team, only European players will be admitted.
The contest would be a team contest. Each country will send a team of five players to Vienna. If a country can not send a full team, it can offer the seats to other countries. Hobbiger: “This means we will combine teams of various countries if they do not have enough players. These teams would be called ‘international teams’. Therefore, the tournament will be more an international contest than an individual fight.”
Kasu is aware that most EMA member-countries do not have any riichi players at all, while other countries, such as Denmark, Holland and Great-Britain, have quite a lot. Raphael Hobbiger: “The details are to be filled in later. Anyway, we aim at the same number of players as the previous EC’s: eighty.”
According to Kasu, there would be two kinds of assessments: team and individual. “Of course after the event, the personal scores will be submitted to the EMA ranking.”
Europe has a huge variety of riichi players and the Austrians think that now is the time to make it a real European competition. So, only European countries would be allowed to send players, with one exception: Japan. This exception will be made since riichi mahjong originates from Japan. “Japan would be a great enrichment for all players and we have still things to learn.”
If EMA agrees with that proposal, then some illustrious riichi players as Jenn Barr and Garthe Nelson (Americans who live in Japan) and Ma Yongliang (Chinese riichi player), just as David Bresnick (number 3 at the last ECR), will not be admitted to ‘Vienna 2012’.
For keeping scores, Kasu Austria would change the system to a more Japanese way. Therefore, at the beginning of the game each player gets 25,000 points in chips and after each round the players exchange the proper value of chips. If someone loses all of them, the game is over. At the end of the game, each player counts his chips and the values will be filled out on the score sheet.
This way, the games will be more thrilling and become faster with no rechecking each time if the values are still correct, says Kasu. EMA will decide about the application in the coming weeks.