The Big Competition
Uwe Martens, president of the European Mahjong Association, gives his opening remarks.
"Mahjong USA" at the opening ceremony. Benjamin, Andrew, me, Josephine.
Me with Ma Xiao Mei, Chinese cultural ministry chairman (her full title given in another caption below).
I gave a copy of my book to Henrik Leth, who was quoted in the book.
Andy Zheng displays the commemorative mahjong set, made for this tournament. They came in two colors: black backs and red backs. I decided I wanted the red back variety for my collection.
Chinese dignitary makes speech, translated by Andy Zheng.
Tina Christensen presided. Let the tournament begin!
Here I am with my incredible Thirteen Orphans hand. I kid you not. I really did it!
A closup of my Thirteen Orphans hand, made from Tatsuro Tanioka's discard during the first session.
Here I am during Session 1. This is the only photo I have of Tatsuro Tanioka (right) - the player who was later disqualified for cheating. You have to read my July 1 column at www.sloperama.com/mahjongg/column.htm. The other players are Chris Redmond (England, left) and Eduardo Campillo Herrera (Spain).
A god's-eye view of the tournament hall.
Per Starbäck discards a tile.
Me with one of the few hands I actually won. I'm wearing my souvenir T-shirt from Beijing. Unfortunately, Chinese T-shirts shrink really badly, so don't expect to see much more of that one.
I made a Pure Straight - with six flowers!
Jochen Leitner painted an Austrian flag and a Chinese character on his head.
Alexander Doppelhofer shaved an "East" character on his head.
Me with the famous Jenn Barr.
Jenn Barr, Andrew Feist, and some bearded old guy.
Left to right: Jean-Marc Cazarre (France), Per Starbäck (Sweden), András Boda-Nyulasi (Hungary), Naotaka Asawa (Japan).
Here I am playing with Yang Shu Mei of Taiwan (upper right) and Jeppe Stig Nielsen of Denmark (right).
Jeppe Stig Nielsen won on my discarded 8 dot. He scored big time at my expense.
I had been ready with two ways to make a good hand. After throwing the 8 dot, I was waiting for another 7 dot to win.
But if I'd thrown the 7 dot instead of the 8 dot, Marco Lorenzi would have won on it.
The V-sign is customary in Japan, where Jenn lives these days. She's a professional mahjong player there.
A pretty lady from Japan.
"How the heck do the Americans play mahjong with THIS crazy thing??"
Martin Rep and I pose with Ms. Zhang Xiao Yan.
Me with Ma Xiao Mei (Chairman of the Ministry of Culture, Chinese Promotional Committee of World National Culture Exchange), and Martin Rep.
The audience gathers for the awards ceremony.
The top winning team, from Tokyo: Sugako Suzuki, Masato Chiba, Yukari Kugimiya, and Yuri Tezuka.
I was honored to present the prize to the 3rd place individual winner - it turned out to be my teammate, Benjamin Boas!
The top three individual players. Oda-san, Benjamin, and Martin Wedel Jacobson. Martin is receiving his award from a Copenhagen city official who opined that she'd been invited to present because she's the only Asian-Danish city official.
The organizers of the OEMC stand still for some well-deserved applause.
I gave the last copy of my book to Martin Wedel Jacobson, the new European mahjong champion. 6/24/07
The Big Competition
© 2008 Tom Sloper