This month, Mahjong Time is spotlighting Irena Timokhovitch (username: Irenika). Irena is the first Ukrainian player we’ve ever spotlighted! A powerful RCR player, Irena holds a black
belt, and ranks 20th in the RCR listings with over 21,700 points! Adding to her list of impressive achievements is a fist place medal for the May 2010 RCR GMT. Irena has also been progressing in
the EC rankings, currently holding a Green Belt and ranking 151st. Mahjong Time got the chance to ask Irena some questions:
Q: How did you originally discover multiplayer Mahjong?
A:Some friends told me that they were going to learn how to play Mahjong over a weekend. I thought: this might be
interesting, and invited myself to their place. I almost didn’t have a chance to play because there so many contenders :) Then I found Mahjong Time. So everything I know now is thanks to
Mahjong Time and to the people that play here with me every day.
Q: How often do you play online?
A: It depends. There are periods when I'm playing every day. Sometimes it happens that I do not play for 2-3 weeks and then start again.
Q: How long have you played at Mahjong Time?
A: Since May 2009.
Q: What do you like the most about Mahjong Time?
A: It’s comfortable, always something new happening, and of course - you can play with great players.
Q: Tell us more about yourself! What would other Mahjong Time players be surprised to know about you?
A: I am a very common person. :) Traveling and learning more about the
Japanese language and people are my main hobbies besides Mahjong.
I also like historic and ancient buildings. Therefore, whenever an old building is destroyed in my city, I get depressed.
Q: Which style of Mahjong do you like best? Why is this your favorite?
A: There were some circumstances that made Riichi closer to me than any other style. Perhaps the main
reason is the opportunity to announce Riichi, or perhaps it’s the fact that it has the concept of a "minimum which gives the right to declare mahjong."
And of course, Riichi is a Japanese style, and everything that has something to do with that country highly interests me.
Q: What is better: playing live or playing online?
A: I cannot say which one is better. Both make you feel different. Online you can play with different people whose skills,
capabilities, and level is unknown to you in most cases – and it's always very interesting.
With a live game you can spend an entire night with friends drinking wine, talking about something interesting, seeing their excitement, feeling the atmosphere...
Indeed, playing online and live are two different things.
Q: On the subject of online play, what kind of advice would you give to the online player?
A: First of all, the respect among players is the main thing for me. I don’t
like people leaving the table without apologies, and I don’t like the restriction "minimum green belt to join the game". Of course, this is everyone’s choice.
And most importantly: learn to enjoy someone else's beautiful victories. It doesn’t matter if you lost in this game. The defeat in one game is a guarantee of winning another one!