This month, we are spotlighting the very skilled player Ildikó Hargitai (username: tyltyl) who took 1st place at the 2011 Open European Mahjong Champtionship. Hailing from Hungary, Ildikó has been with Mahjong Time for a very long time - almost 7 years! During her time here, Ildikó has honed her skilled, become a great part of the community, and has even written a novel about a person who finds love on Mahjong Time! We are very excited to see what great victories lie ahead for Ildikó, and extend a hearty congratulations from Mahjong Time and the community for her triumph at OEMC 2011!
Q: How did you originally discover multiplayer Mahjong?
T: I was very lonely and somebody invited me to learn Mahjong. The Hungarian association was just starting up at that time, we learned the rules together, and we played a lot every week. I enjoyed that a lot, because when I play I don't think about anything else and can forget my problems, and I can just play! It's very important to me, I learned from everybody in my club, in the Hungarian association! And I can learn more! (I have to say Thank You! to them!)
Q: How often do you play online?
T: I play online every (or nearly every) day. I work from home most of the time, and when I have time I play a game.
Q: How long have you played at Mahjong Time?
T: Maybe 7 years ago I started to play on Mahjong Time, without paying, just for fun. My first MJT name was Kardamomm. I changed my computer about, I bought my first Internet connection, and I was learning a lot about it! That was a big thing at that time in Hungary, and also for me (we started very late here with all those things).
Q: What do you like the most about Mahjong Time?
T: I love it (not just like : ). Mahjong Time is not only an online game. I play with real people, most of the time I really know them. I can play any time, when I have time or feeling with players from everywhere. I can play with strong, smart people, sometimes they are better than me, and then I can learn from them. I can make friendships on Mahjong Time (and I have, with Atticus, WuTiao, bbk666, and many others). I like the championships there. I love its design! I started to learn English because I wanted to talk with people on Mahjong Time! This game and English opened the world to me!
Q: Tell us more about yourself! What would other Mahjong Time players be surprised to know about you?
What most players know about me is that I always say "Ahoy" when the game starts, and I like to change my picture. But they don't know why. I say "Ahoy" because when I started to play, I didn't really know any English to make conversation but I wanted them to know me! And not a lot of people know that I am an actress and also an author. In fact, my last published novel is a story about somebody who plays Mahjong on Mahjong Time and finds love there. My publisher sponsored me for the OEMC. I also make jewelry from jade, onyx etc. with engravings of dragons and winds for luck. And maybe a big surprise: I have five wonderful, grown-up children. As many people know, I live with another well-known Mahjong Time player who I met through the game.
Q: Which style of Mahjong do you like best? Why is this your favorite and why?
T: I enjoy playing Riichi a lot, and I also like Hong Kong, but my favorite is MCR. I think that is the most variegated and most difficult game type. It's always interesting for me! I play Riichi when I want to play with nice people, to talk and make jokes. I play HK when I am tired, but still want to play. Any other time I play MCR. The Chinese says this is the game of one thousand intelligences. I want to believe it!
Q: What is better: playing live or playing online?
T: If I have the choice then a live game. I play every week in my club. To touch the tiles, to hear that sound when we wash the tiles, it's really a different feeling. Looking at the players, sensing them, laughing, and some talking - that is life! But I can't say that the online game is worse. If I know I can play with Atticus between 9 and 10, for example, then I try to be online.
Q: On the subject of online play, what kind of advice would you give to the online player?
T: Hm... I know only how I play, and how I won In Mestre (OEMC). First I forget everything. I forget my feelings about the other players (if I have any). In the game, the most important thing for is my hand!
My advice is: Find the shortest way to Mahjong! Every time. (That means that I change a lot if I feel that way is shorter). Plus: never be too serious! We can all learn something from each other! Enjoy the game and the people!