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The Third China Majiang Championship and Forum

October 29-31, 2005, Beijing, China

The tournament began in earnest on Saturday morning.

The pond looked very nice in the morning light, with the scattered clouds in the sky.
In the lobby I met up with my teammates and Quan Li (who worked for the Organizing Committee). For this tournament, I would be part of the French/Hungarian/American team. For short, I'll refer to it as the French team, since two of the members are French. L to R: Quan Li, Laurent Mahé, András (Andy) Boda (whose website is at, Stéphane Parcollet, Tom Sloper.
Met up also with Japanese friends from previous tournaments. L to R: Masato Chiba (2005 OEMC), me, Mai Hatsune (2002 WCMJ, 2003 CMOC, 2005 OEMC), Takunori Kajimoto (2003 Hainan, 2005 Nijmegen).
A fairly lengthy bus ride took us to the site where we'd be playing the games. This is the Jixian Training Center, a new building prepared especially for the upcoming 2008 Olympics. You can see the Great Wall on the mountains behind the center.
Players move from bus to building. Big deal, right? Well, the excitement was starting to build, because this is what we'd come all this way for!
Inside, players find their assigned tables.
Ready to begin!
The usual speechifying.
With a little photography to commemorate the speechifying.
Just a little more speechifying. Mr. Nagi from the JMOC wasn't playing, so he was willing to take my camera and get a few shots.
Speechifying almost done!!
And finally the game begins. What the heck kind of mess is this that the mah-jongg gods deemed fit to serve me up???
The noise-making devices used to denote the beginning and end of a round. A tap on the drum begins the round - a bang on the gong ends it.
A break between rounds gives me the chance to admire the scenery outside once again.
Back into the fray. Masato Chiba (R) appears to have the same problem with his back that I did. The chairs don't give any back support. I was constantly holding an arm behind my back to try to make my back more comfortable. Furthermore, Chiba-san doesn't appear to be experiencing the kind of success he did in Nijmegen... The Chinese are formidable opponents! It's their game, after all...
Posing with Hiroyuki Nagi of the JMOC. He was at the 2002 WCMJ and the 2005 EOMC (missed him at the 2003 CMOC).
The player standing in this picture is Gao Jun of the BeiDa, QingHua, Orient team. Seated at the table at left are Kajimoto-san, Suzuki-san, and Laurent Mahé. I can't identify the player with his back to us. He's wearing the official vest issued to all the players (I'd neglected to wear mine that day).
I'd been wanting to obtain my own copy of the new book from the Mahjong Museum in Chiba, Japan. Look! I finally got one! Yay! (Or, as they say in Japan, banzai!)
After dinner (we're back at the hotel now, by the way) I wandered over to building 2 and found a game going on. Henrik Leth of Denmark had been working on a really good hand but had been called to go get interviewed for a documentary or something. He asked me to take over his hand (I did win it) and I was roped into an evening of practice. L to R: Oda-san and Kugimiya-san of the Japan Sports Mah-jongg Association, Sune Korreman (top European player at 2005 Nijmegen), and me.
My turn as dealer. I'm taking tiles 1 and 3 (looks like I'm taking tile 3 first here).

Friday, October 28, 2005 - First Day in China
Saturday, October 29, 2005 - Tournament Day One
Sunday, October 30, 2005 - Tournament Day Two
Monday, October 31, 2005 - Last Tournament Day
Wednesday, November 2, 2005 - Sightseeing in Beijing
Thursday, November 3, 2005 - Last Beijing Outing

Copyright 2005 Tom Sloper. All rights reserved.