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<  Interviews  ~  YO Interviews, #3: Sjef Strik - By-tor

Posted: Wed Oct 10, 2007 12:55 am Reply with quote
Site Admin Joined: 11 Jun 2007 Posts: 327 Location: Milan
YakitoriOnline interviewed for you Sjef Strik winner of the last Kinryu Majan Taikai in Holland, a great player and person, his rankings in the riichi world are extremely good and he's one of the most important Mahjong Events organizers in Europe, let's hear something from him:

Name: Sjef Strik
Birthdate: 30-12-1967
Birthplace: Nijmegen
Nickname: By-tor
Blood Type: Volvo Blue
Zodiacal Sign: Capricorn

Pepsi or Coke? Pineapple Juice
Mc Donald's or Burger King? Strawberry milkshake from McD
Chocolate or Vanilla? Vanilla
Cappuccino or Coffee? Tea
Favourite Band and CD? Rush - A Farewell To Kings
Favourite Tile?
Favourite Color? Black
Perfect Pizza? Sorry, no pizza for me, but I love Italian ice cream!

Hi Sjef, you ranked 1st during the last edition of the Kinryu Majan Taikai in Holland, that's an awesome result, were you expecting it? What did the victory mean to you?
I had a good feeling a few days before the tournament that I could win the tournament. I have won this tournament also in 2004, so I know I can play for the victory, although I'm not playing a lot in private. But I love this variant so much, that I know the rules and the Yaku's very well.
The victory in 2004 means a lot to me, because it was the first mahjong tournament ever which I won. But also this victory is important to me; itís nice to know that I know the game well and not only can win a game or a session but win a tournament.

What was your first contact with mahjong? What did you like of the game?
It was on a Saturday somewehere in 1995 when a friend explained the game, I fell immediately in love with Mahjong: The several possibilities there are to to create a winning hand, the Chinese tiles with beautiful drawings engraved, the way of playing (offensive or defensive).

The results say clearly you are a great Riichi player, why do you play riichi? Do you like playing any other mahjong style? And which among them is your favourite and why

Besides Riichi I play only one other variant which I like much and thatís MCR. But Riichi is and will be my favourite, because of the possibility to declare a ready hand, the dora and the ura dora. And itís the most honest game: when I throw away the winning tile, I will pay only, not the other two players.

What's the current state of the mahjong culture in the Netherlands?
Itís a small group of people who are very decicated to mahjong, some of them are travelling all around the world to play mahjong in tournaments.

What's Mahjong for you? Just a hobby or something more?

Itís a passion! From 1999 till now I have organised in total 21 tournaments, including the OEMC in 2005 in Nijmegen. In November I will organise together with my friend Martin Rep for the 9th time our Golden Dragon Tournament where we will play MCR. And besides organising tournaments I like of course to play a lot.

Do you actively play some other games?
Since I learned to play Mahjong in 1995, I have stopped playing or learning other games. There is only one game for me:


How much time do you spend daily playing mahjong or doing things that are mahjong related?
Unfortunately not that much, I have a family with a 4 year old son and a daughter of 3 months, so I can not play mahjong a lot which I did in the past. I have also two other passions; playing football and going to music concerts, speciall from my favorite Canadian rock band Rush.

I'm playing yearly approx. 5 tournaments in Holland and one in Germany. Besides playing tournaments I have organised yearly three tournaments (2x Riichi and 1x MCR). Since this year we organise one Riichi tournament (last Saturday in February), the Kinryu Majan Taikai Tournament (last Saturday of September) is organised by some other mahjong friend so that we can play.

You are among the organizers of the first european riichi mahjong tournament, what does it mean to you?
I love organising mahjong tournaments, specially international tournaments. And this is the first international Riichi tournament, so it means a lot to me to organise a succesful tournament which will be on the mahjongcalender every two years.

What are your plans for the future?
Next year Martin Rep and I will organise in November our 10th Golden Dragon Tournament, so we hope to celebrate this aniversary with a special tournament. And we want to organise a succesfull Open European Riichi Championship. And I'm looking forward to play at the OEMC 2009 in Austria.

Would you like to add something?
Hope to play with you Riichi players in Italy sometime.

Some Words to YakitoriOnline's Readers?
Hope to see you all in Hanover next year at the Open European Riichi Championship!

Someone to Greet?
I want to greet and thank my friend Martin Rep that he learned me the Riichi rules in 1998.

YakitoriOnline would like to thank Sjef for his time and his kindness, see you in the European Riichi Championship!

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