UK Mahjong Association

UK Mahjong Association

About UKMA

In 2020 the UK Mahjong Association celebrated its 10th birthday – at least it would have celebrated it had it not been for the Covid pandemic!

However, the Association and its activities have grown from its small beginnings in 2010, to be a thriving organisation dedicated to spreading the word about the wonderful world of mahjong, and occupying a prestigious role in the European mahjong calendar.

That growth is illustrated by comparing 2010 with 2019. In 2010 the first and only UK tournament of the year was staged – a single day event in the played in Riichi style. In 2019 (and planned for 2020, albeit sadly not executed) there were three riichi tournaments - two single day events in addition to the main, now two-day riichi competition, the UK Open. 2019 also saw the second hosting of a Modern Competition Rules (MCR) style event which attracted many strong players from the Continent. Devotees of this latter rule set are still relatively few by comparison in the UK, but it offers a quite different and testing game that is every bit as popular in Europe as the Riichi style and brings an alternative challenge and dimension to the enjoyment of mahjong. Both games are regularly played online, and that has represented some compensation for the dearth of real-life events. The Association was proud to be selected to host the European Riichi Championship in 2016, and also staged its first onllne tournament late in 2020.

UK players have performed with distinction in this first decade in European and even World Championship events (assuming you count 4th place in a World Riichi Championship as distinction) along with many other strong placings in World and European Championships.

We look forward to the resumption of normal life at some point in 2021, and the further development of our game, and the transnational camaraderie that it offers.

Great oaks are famously reputed to grow from tiny acorns. In the UK, perhaps that ‘acorn’ was the posting on assignment of a young banker to Japan some forty years ago, who eventually brought the Riichi game back home, and taught it to a group of friends. We may not yet have our great oak, but neither do we have a mere ‘sapling’.

We hope for the face-to-face resumption of ‘The Elegant Game’ in 2021.