(from left) Andrew Smith (4th), Russell Chan (2nd), Chris Endicott (1st), Daniele Cesarini (3rd) (photo credit: Gemma Sakamoto / @mahjonggem)

OXFORD, United Kingdom - Chris Endicott takes first place in the third edition of the "Great Scholars Riichi Mahjong Tournament" (RERS), scoring 141,500 points. Tournament debutant Russell Chan finishes second with 136,200 points, while the runner-up of the previous edition (in 2016), Daniele Cesarini, secures the third position scoring 89,400 points.

Martin and Cressida Lester welcomed thirty-two riichi enthusiasts to the "City of Dreaming Spires" to engage in five hanchan of riichi. Even though a few of them are international players all of them currently live in the UK. Besides many veteran players there were twelve players new to the tournament circuit indicating the UK riichi scene is growing and thriving. James Green, winner at the 2016 edition, ended up finishing in 14th.

Tenpai for yakuman

Martin Lester reflects on the day: "People seemed to have fun and the tournament ran smoothly. I was a little worried about snow stopping people from getting to the tournament, but everyone arrived on time. As in 2016, I did the draw a couple of days before the tournament and assigned everyone wind positions in advance, making sure that each person started as each wind at least once. This meant people could take their seats and start building the walls more quickly, which was important as we were running to quite a tight schedule. Lunch was provided by local restaurant Noodle Nation with dessert cooked by my wife. The highest-scoring hands were dealer haneman and non-dealer baiman, so nothing remarkable. Apparently in one hand, two players were tenpai for yakuman hands, but a third player committed a chombo, which was quite amusing." Photos available on Google Photos (credit: Cressida Lester).

Godalming and London

There are two further riichi EMA tournaments planned in the UK this year: the ninth edition of the "UK Open Riichi Mahjong Championship" on 4th-5th August in Godalming (preceded by the "UK Hors D'oeuvres MCR", the first ever competition in the country under the MCR ruleset on Friday 3rd August at the same venue!) and the inaugural "North London Riichi Open" on 3rd-4th November in Cheshunt.

Tournament overview (photo credit: Cressida Lester)

Final results of the Great Scholars Riichi Mahjong Tournament 2018 (RCR, RERS), Oxford

Place First Name Surname Nat. Points
1 Chris Endicott GBR 141500
2 Russell Chan GBR 136200
3 Daniele Cesarini ITA 89400
4 Andrew Smith GBR 79500
5 Elmira Mustakimova RUS 77200
6 Jay Li GBR 66200
7 Max Bowsher GBR 64900
8 Michael Donaghy GBR 57800
9 Sonia Yagi GBR 49700
10 Shaun Drury GBR 36300
11 Piotr Baranowski GBR 16900
12 David Clarke GBR 1600
13 Philip Bielby GBR -1100
14 James Green GBR -7900
15 Iurii Ufimtsev RUS -11600
16 Ian Fraser GBR -17100
17 Christopher Rowe GBR -17500
18 Robin Neatherway GBR -24600
19 Hong Li GBR -26700
20 Aidan Robison GBR -27100
21 Gemma Sakamoto GBR -27100
22 Kyung Chan Lee KOR -34000
23 Jem Short GBR -38300
24 Thom Diment GBR -39400
25 Devina Steck SUI -44300
26 Tony Haley GBR -51500
27 Eric Haney GBR -54700
28 Angus Fisk GBR -57800
29 Alexey Belovs GBR -59500
30 Leonard Hardiman GBR -95900
31 John Duckworth GBR -96200
32 Dan Green GBR -164900

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