This month, we are spotlighting Ad Van der Linden (username: dragonad). Hailing from the Netherlands, Ad has been a member of the Mahjong Time community for over 3 years! Ad specializes in MCR and Riichi styles, earning high ratings in both: two black stripes on brown belt in MCR, and one black stripe on brown belt in Riichi. Ad is also a powerful tournament player, taking 2nd place in the 2011 Spanish Open. Ad was also regarded as the 4th best MCR player in the world in 2011! Mahjong Time got the chance to ask Ad some questions:
Q: How did you originally discover multiplayer Mahjong?
[AL: ] I started playing Mahjong in 2008 and joined a club in Rotterdam (The Netherlands). While playing I got the Mahjong virus and wanted to play more than a single evening during the week. My fellow Mahjongers pointed me out to Mahjong Time and after playing I got addicted to it.
Q: How often do you play online?
[AL: ] I try to play 4 or 5 days a week for a couple of hours. It keeps your skills to a certain level and especially now I recently started playing Riichi it is good to get up to speed.
Q: How long have you played at Mahjong Time?
[AL: ] I started playing in December 2008. So this is already 3 years.
Q: What do you like the most about Mahjong Time?
[AL: ] There are a couple of things that I like. First of all you can play every single moment of the day a couple of games. I hardly never come across a moment that nobody is there. Also it gave me the opportunity to get to know other Mahjong players. When I play at Mahjong tournaments across Europe it is nice to know who your opponents are going to be.
Q: Tell us more about yourself! What would other Mahjong Time players be surprised to know about you?
[AL: ] If you look at my avatar and try to picture me: I'm not the 80 year old Asian person you think I am.
Q: Which style of Mahjong do you like best? Why is this your favorite?
[AL: ] I started playing MCR 3 years ago but recently started Riichi. It is hard to pick a favourite. Both styles appeal to me. Now I'm playing Riichi I've learned to play a bit more defensive and that helps playing MCR at certain moment. If I have to make a choice I would choose MCR because of the complexity.
Q: What is better: playing live or playing online?
[AL: ] It is hard to compare. Playing live is also meeting other people and I like to do that. Drinking a glass of wine with each other while playing the game has it charm. Combining that with on-line playing is a perfect match for me. In that way I can "meet" my friends from Italy, France or any other European country every day.
Q: On the subject of online play, what kind of advice would you give to the online player?
[AL: ] I would say: Play Mahjong Time not only for winning every single game but use it also to practice special hands. In that way you get to know the game better.