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World Riichi Championships 2022

The third edition of the World Riichi Championships took place in Vienna, in August 2022. There were 152 hopefuls from a record 34 countries. The event had been postponed from 2020 and 2021 due to the global health pandemic. Final numbers were a little lower than planned following the exclusion of Russian/Belarussian players due to the ongoing conflict in Ukraine, plus some residual caution from a few players due to Covid.

Seven UK players represented the UK at the tournament; Mickey Donaghy, Martin Lester, Chris Endicott, Russell Chan, Philip Bielby, Gemma Sakamoto and John Duckworth. Mickey Donaghy was the highest-placed UK player in 46th place after a strong finish. Martin Lester was regularly in contention as a top 20 player, and Chris Endicott was the 3rd UK player to finish in the top half of the table. Ultimately, however, the UK players were short of smiles from the Mahjong gods.

The top two places at the event went to Japanese players Nara Keijun and Satoshi Fujisaki, who finished first and second, respectively. However, in a departure from previous finals, non-Japanese players contested the other two places. Valentin Courtois (France) and Anna Zubenko (Ukraine) finished 3rd and 4th respectively. A recording of the semi-finals and final are available on YouTube using these links:

Semi Finals (Japanese commentary)