If you’re already a regular reader of Riichi Reporter, you’ll have noticed we’ve been fairly focused on the International Online Riichi Mahjong Championship (IORMC). That wasn’t just because we’re unimaginative — it was intentional! We hoped to provide some focus over the month of September to really dig into some of the details of the online event, and introduce it to those who may not yet be aware.
We’ve covered the history of the event, event qualifications by country (in part), and an interview with one of the successful qualifying players who is making a name for himself in the community. We hope you enjoyed those!
This article was slated as “round-up,” but you all know how to check back on the site so I’m not offering a simple summary here. Instead I’m offering you a personal perspective of the event – mine.
If you ever meet the founder of IORMC, James from the Korean Mahjong League, you will immediately feel his total passion for the game. Despite perhaps many Westerners ignorance to the riichi scene in Korea, lots of people within the Japanese riichi community know James Yu and he has networked and successfully built relationships wherever he has gone. People only say good things about him and it’s no surprise. I visited Seoul to play in one of their events and I felt immediately welcome in their riichi family. I also met up with him in Japan and his demeanor and candor are refreshing and inspiring.
Why do I wax lyrical on the personality of one individual? Because it is that individual’s unique traits and openness that have made the IORMC successful. Organizing across borders and with people over emails is a difficult task. You need to build a relationship of trust between the people you are relying on. James can do that.
The UK has been involved since very early on. Myself and David Clarke have de facto been in charge of organizing a UK team. At every step, it has been smooth. I’ve been aware of what needs to be done and when.
We’ve seen it grow from strength to strength with more and more countries submitting teams so now it is a truly international event that should be marked on every riichi player’s annual calendar.
It deserves to be a success because of its founder’s and his supporters’ hard efforts. I look forward to seeing how far it will go in the future.
If you have the time, support it too! The team event is November 3rd and the individual event is November 17th. Details can be found on tenhou’s main homepage.
Our IORMC feature isn’t going to win prizes for investigative journalism. But we do hope to touch on more controversial topics in the future. Next month all of us are at the North American Open so you’re going to be hearing a lot about that – the good AND the bad!
See you at the table soon, kids!