Running a tournament for the first time is really a special experience. While I have been busy with stuff, I did want to get the first article out as soon as possible.
MONTREAL (QC), CANADA — 12 competitors took part in the first open* mahjong tournament using riichi rules. Dominating Day 1 was a member of Montreal’s new wave of talent, Claudel B., with all first places. On Day 2, he managed to maintain his advance by retaining his points as well as he could. Congratulations to Claudel, the Canadian Champion, who has won a Junk Mat as a prize with his +112.3 points over 8 matches. Filling the podium are Sean H. from Waterloo (ON) in 2nd place with +71.1 points, along with a tie for third place between Marc-André D. from Montreal and Luke M. from Rochester (NY), USA with +63.2 points each.
The tournament welcomed 3 players from the United States, as well as one from outside the province of Quebec, proving that Montreal is definitely going to continue growing as one of the continent’s poles of attraction for future growth at the club and in tournaments aiming to welcome players from Canada, the Unites States, as well as eventually Europe and abroad. The rules used were a suitable hybrid between local Montreal rules and practices (e.g.: inclusion of daisharin), and the rules used at the 2014 WRC in Puteaux, France (atama-hane, 15-5 uma, tenpai-renchan, no kazoe yakuman, no aborts, no weird stuff [so no ryanhan shibari or paarenchan]), while fixing the rules regarding tile exposures from any wall and the call priority (3.0 seconds BUT only 0.5 seconds to override).
The organizer (and author of this article) says: “Making sure this first tournament was a success was very important not only to me, but to the participants involved as well as some non-participants who provided critical support. My goal was to launch the first of many tournaments (not just for us but to see similar initiatives across the continent) that met the same organizational standards as tournaments in Europe (3 month advance notice, open to all, 16+ participants). While that goal was almost accomplished, historically speaking, Denmark also had 12-person tournaments for a while in 2008. I can therefore say I am totally satisfied by the event’s success, its result, as well as its eventual future.”
Speaking of the future, the next North American Riichi Open in Montreal can be planned for in advance: the date is 90% certain to be June 4-5, 2016 (the 10% uncertainty is due to scheduling away from the F1 Grand Prix weekend).
We hope to see more of you here next year, you might be able to stand on the podium too, the replica podium in front of Montreal’s Olympic Stadium as seen below!
To contact the organizing team for information and planning for the next event in 2016, please contact us using this year’s tournament e-mail, at: tournoi2015 ## riichi # ca (substitute usual symbols in the address). We plan on informing people well in advance with the explicit goal of obtaining registrations as soon as possible for next year, with an early bird special prior to February 29, 2016.
- Article precision: the term “Open” (in English) or “omnium” (in French) implies not only the passive idea of letting anyone participate (no mattter their gender, age, race, nationality, or favourite ice cream flavour), but by inviting people openly to do so. There have been micro-tournies, league-type “tournies”, and closed-club tournaments, as well as spontaneous things before: while acknowledging their existence, I believe the usage of “1st Open” on the continent was and is totally justified, w.r.t. Japanese mahjong. Here’s to hoping that the “2nd NARO” (even if it doesn’t use that name to advertise) will take place somewhere else prior to Montreal in June 2016.