Welcome 2019

Happy New Year, riichi fans!

We’ve celebrated the earth making yet another rotation around the sun and hopefully played some mahjong. Typically this time of year is a little quiet as everyone shakes off their hangovers and starts thinking of what they would like to do in the months ahead.

It’s early days of 2019 and there’s not much on the public calendar yet, but here’s what IS out there so far (and a little bit of speculation.)

Tornado Alley Regional Open 2019 — April 6 & 7, Broken Arrow, OK. Instead of a third annual tournament hosted in Texas by DFW Mahjong, they have partnered with Oklahoma Mahjong to offer a regional open. With the high cost of traveling to events in North America, the intent is to offer one well attended event for our calendars instead of each club trying to compete for players at smaller individual events.

The EMA calendar is ALWAYS full of events happening throughout the EU and the UK — more than can be effectively summarized here, so best check out the calendar on their website.

I would like to highlight the 5th European Riichi Mahjong Championship taking place June 21-23. This year the Dutch are hosting the tournament in the historic city of ‘s-Hertogenbosch. (OK, let’s go with the colloquial name ‘Den Bosch’.)

With the WRC 2020 happening…well…next year, seat allocations are still up in the air. Expectations are that the Europeans will use the EMA rankings to allocate seats and the Japanese select a contingent from their own ranks. For 2017 North America, lacking a national ranking system, distributed seats based on placement in a number of qualifier tournaments taking place prior to WRC. Optimistically we might start seeing qualifier events announced later this year.

For our feature this month we are going to spend this time looking over riichi and what it has to offer next to some other popular versions of mahjong.

I’d also like to start this year by inviting the riichi community to contribute to Riichi Reporter. Our focus is on news, editorials, and features. Contact the editor at editor@cielo.london if you are interested in sharing your articles on Riichi Reporter!