Rinshan Kaihou Cologne
Riichi Mahjong Club

My First Mahjong Tournament

published on 2022-03-12, last updated on 2022-08-16 written by Madeleine
Text to Speech:

Well, what can I say? It has been one day full of new experiences and impressions… 

I’ve been playing Mahjong for a little over a year now and was recently curious about participating in a tournament to gain more experience on the subject, to prove my skills so far, control my inner emotions and to get a feeling of what it’s like to play competitive in a tournament situation. I went with no other intention to Berghem than that. I was ready to witness some crazy “rules” that I, as a learner of Richii Mahjong rules and etiquette, was mentally prepared for, but still a surprised-Pikachu-face. (Though it is in fact a bit funny to say “Mahjong” as win declaration.)

I gained a whole 4 hours of sleep the night of the tournament (I was so nervous!), we drove off early in the morning to Berghem and reached the location with plenty of time to spare. Everyone was so welcoming, and it was a nice feeling of seeing so many other people coming together to play Mahjong. I hardly understood the Dutch-speaking people, since I don’t speak their language, but almost everyone was ready to switch to English or even to German.

The Hanchan went altogether well, I made the right decisions and won some hands, but nevertheless, other players played better, had more luck that day or fed the winner which resulted in a head-to-head race, but I am satisfied with myself. The last Hanchan was a bit more problematic regarding unsportsmanlike behaviour of co-players, but definitely taught me a lesson that day to be more careful and to speak up for myself. Also, I had to ask an unreal number of times to switch to English or translate what is being said on 2 of 4 tables, and somehow that was something to ridicule. Though everyone was seemingly nice, this was disappointing, because it made me feel stupid and left out since I couldn’t recall what was being said.

But a few unpleasant people and situations should not define the outcome of my first tournament. I learned a lot that day! To be surrounded by my club-members, sharing thoughts and experiences throughout the day and clapping my hands at Manuel for making the third place are things I like to keep in mind and which I’m definitely keen to repeat on the next tournament.

Club Members at Warae no Taikai 2022, back left to right: Hiroshi, Manuel, Madeleine, Ken, Thai, front: Jonas

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