The under-burgomaster of Hanover (left) with the top-3 of the ERC 2010: Joel Ratsimandresy, Maurice Demmer, David Bresnick.

HANOVER - Maurice Demmer is the new European Riichi Mahjong Champion. After two days of severe competition in the hot Hanover Jazz Club, the Dutchman ended on the first place, just 700 points before Joel Ratsimandresy from France. David Bresnick from the USA won the third prize.

The new European riichi mahjong champion, Maurice Demmer, with his prize: a replica of a Botero statue.

The winner was a dark horse: Maurice Demmer from the Netherlands. What happened to the real favorites, like Gemma Collinge and Sjef Strik?

Kim Iversen at the EC Riichi 2008.

In July, for the second time, the European Riichi Mahjong Championship will take place in Hanover, Germany. And, just like the first time, the skilled Japanese players are the great favorites for the open European title. Although some of the top players think they may be able to beat them. So, a Dane might be the next champion again, or maybe even a Dutch with his notorious ‘Pong Way’.