(first row) Suzuki Yoshihiro (2), Low Kee Chung (1), Nozaki Yuma (3), Deng Shaozhe (4); (second row 5-8th) Chen Yujia, Yamaguchi Mitsuru, Endo Toshiaki, Akemura Satoshi (photo credit: Japan Mahjong Sports Association)

TOKYO (Yurakucho), Japan — Finally the hottest weekend ends, with the victory of LOW Kee Chung, bringing the first trophy to Singapore of the 18th "Japan Championship" (MCR). Two-time-running OEMC winner SUZUKI Yoshihiro, youngest-ever finalist NOZAKI Yuma follow.

On the first day, July 14th, 50 players qualified in Japan, 10 invited players from China and Singapore played the qualification round of four-game. The best 31 players advanced to the knockout tournament rounds of the next day.

On the next day, 31 winners from the first day and the defending champion from the previous "Japan Championship", UCHIDA Kei, were divided into eight tables. In the round-of-32, each table plays two games. Two players were knocked out, the other two advanced to the next round. After the quarterfinals which were held simultaneously, only eight players were remaining.

Semifinal 1: Suzuki Yoshihiro, Yamaguchi Mitsuru, Akemura Satoshi, Nozaki Yuma (photo credit: Japan Mahjong Sports Association)

While almost all mahjong competition in Japan is held at a mahjong parlor, the third day, semifinals and final of the "Japan Championship" is held at Hotel New Otani, which makes it very special. This year, Semifinal 1 was all Japanese and the other was 'Chinese table', with two Chinese, one Singaporean and a Japanese.

Semifinal 2: Low Kee Chung, Deng Shaozhe, Chen Yujia, Endo Toshiaki (photo credit: Japan Mahjong Sports Association)

After the semifinals, CHEN Yujia (CHN), YAMAGUCHI Mitsuru, ENDO Toshiaki and AKEMURA Satoshi (JPN) were ranked 5–8 in order.

In the finals, LOW Kee Chung has shown an amazing performance. After opening the game with a self-drawn seven pairs, he was interim second for only one deal. SUZUKI Yoshihiro, NOZAKI Yuma and DENG Shaozhe (CHN) all played very well and ranked 2–4, but the result was a landslide victory.

Last but not least, "Friendship Match" was also held on the second day. Thirty players competed for the qualification of next years' "Japan Championship" (with two substitutes). After the four hanchans, KAWATA Wataru, SHIBASAKI Kenji, Eric Quek (SGP), ONODERA Katsuyuki, SHIRAISHI Takuji, TSUKANO Masako, LI Wenlong (CHN) and TAKAYAMA Koki advanced to semifinals of one hanchan, taking over the scores. After a final full game, also carrying forward the scores, SHIBASAKI Kenji finally won.

The 牌譜 (Paifu, game record of mahjong) is also uploaded. You can also watch the video.

The 19th "Japan Championship" is also planned to be held on July 13–15, 2019. Interested players can contact host 'Japan Mahjong Sports Association' (JMSA) via This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

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