Once again Paris will host one of the major European mahjong events of the year, the 2008 Paris Mahjong Tournament, from the 25th to the 27th of April. In its third edition, the Tournament will continue expanding in number of players and countries of origin, number of rounds and the overall level of competition.
The competition has experienced rapid growth and expansion. From 24 players in the 2005 edition, the Tournament has moved on to 84 players in 2007, and should host about 120 this year. Numbers have grown, and origins have become more diverse as well. The first edition, although small in scale, was already open to players from around the world, including an already large number of dutch players who performed remarkably well. In 2007, the Tournament saw its European attendence rise with Austrian, Hungarian and Swedish players as well as many other nationalities. The 2008 edition should confirm this progression with a still increasing number of players from all around Europe, including new countries such as Spain, Russia, Slovakia, Italy, and Switzerland. Japanese and perhaps American and Chinese players will also join the competition. The Tournament is thus becoming a major attraction in the mahjong community, attracting increased numbers beyond the borders of the European Union.
Mahjong is gaining popularity and visibility through competitions such as the Paris Tournament and becoming less and less a confidential game for die-hard supporters only. And as the number of participants in the Paris Tournament grows, so does the level of the competition. This year’s edition will host many top-seeded players, including Marianne Croeze (Netherlands, winner of last year’s edition, “Blom1234” on MahjongTime), Kimito Kugimiya (one of the top-ranked japanese players, winner of several international competitions), Bo Lang (Switzerland, winner of two European Mahjong Association (EMA) tournaments and third in the MahjongTime community under the pseudonym “Roxan”), Martin Mauthner (Austria, arrived second in last year’s edition, ranked 14th, “Mausiboss” on MahjongTime), or Nathalie Mahe (France, ranked 15th European, “Sodalite” on MahjongTime). The level of the competition has been acknowledged by the EMA, which has given the Paris Tournament a weight of 2 in calculating the results in terms of players’ rankings. The Tournament will be played over two days, in six rounds of two hours each, along the rules defined by the World Mahjong Organization’s (WMO) “Green Book”.
The setting of the competition will reflect this gradual rise in its importance. This year’s edition will take place in the grand rooms of the town hall of the 9th “arrondissement” (district) of Paris, a stone’s throw away from the Paris Garnier Opera. The Tournament, as all previous ones, will be organized by members of the french mahjong community, the Magic Mahjong Social Pung (MMSP) club, the Fleur D’Orchidee club and, of course, the French Mahjong Federation (FFMJ). This year’s top-ranked french player at the end of the tournament will receive the title of french champion for 2008.
With the support of its partners, among which MahjongTime is of prominent importance, the 2008 edition promises to be a major highlight of the 2008 mahjong season, a meeting of talented tacticians and of sharp minds. Tension rises as the date nears!
Tournament website: http://mahjong.paris.free.fr
FFMJ website: http://www.ffmahjong.com
MMSP website: http://magicmahjong.free.fr
FDO website: http://fleurdorchidee.free.fr
EMA website: http://mahjong-europe.org
The Staff at MahjongTime.com