Daina Chiba, about to start lecturing on riichi strategy at Bielawa's local library

BIELAWA, Poland - In conjunction with the "Dragon Owl Riichi Contest" organized on the 29th of July 2017, hosting club 'Haneman Hunters' invited tournament participants to sit in on a free world-class riichi seminar led by Daina Chiba, author of "Riichi Book I: A Mahjong Strategy Primer for European Players", which took place the following day. Today the captured footage was posted on YouTube, providing viewers with a summary of "Riichi Book I" and a sneak peek of its long-awaited sequel. *)

Close to thirty eager students from Poland, Belarus, Germany, Luxembourg and the Netherlands gathered in an upper room of the 'Miejska Biblioteka Publiczna' in Bielawa to enjoy the unique opportunity to hear Daina Chiba lecture on riichi strategy. Prior to the event the attendants received this handout.

Six block method

At the beginning of the seminar Chiba gave credit to numerous Japanese authors by referring to specific strategy books (disclaimer), and touched on various topics (e.g. mahjong theory vs. exceptions, analog vs. digital play, the analog trap) before he warmed up the crowd by subjecting them to a few 'What Would You Do?' riddles. The core of the seminar entailed the subject of advanced tile efficiency: after a (re)introduction to the so-called 'five block method' as described in "Book I", Chiba introduced his audience to the 'six block method', weighing the pros and cons of each method and identifying exceptions, and the exceptions to the exceptions.

Deduction and connecting to fellow players

Because mahjong is a game of imperfect information, Chiba stressed the importance of deduction (reading), covering during this seminar only the tip of the iceberg, but promising to provide more insight in "Book II". In order to become a(n even) better player, Chiba strongly encouraged attendants to keep studying both theories and exceptions, and to play as often as possible on Tenhou, making conscious decisions while playing and reviewing their games/discussing their strategies with others. He concluded the seminar by pointing out several online fora: Competitive Riichi Hub, Mahjong Discord Channel, Osamuko Facebook group and Mahjong Reddit.

Footage seminar and publication "Book II"

The complete footage can be viewed here, including an exclusive interview with Chiba conducted by hosting club president Marek 'Krabman' Wakuluk. Please make use of these slides while watching the videos. Even though after the seminar Chiba announced "Book II" would ("hopefully!") be released by the end of 2017, this deadline hasn't been met, leaving riichi players in the dark. Unfortunately, at the moment Mahjong News is unable to provide readers with any further information. To be continued...

*) At the release of "Book I" in January of 2016, Chiba informed the public his book on riichi would be split up in two volumes: while "Riichi Book I" was written with beginners and intermediate players in mind, "Riichi Book II" would be intended for more advanced players.

Daina Chiba sharing his knowledge with an eager audience

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