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By Tom Sloper

November 7, 2004

Column #187

Chinese Official Tournament Rules. This week's column is in honor of two recent events. One event is my finally meeting J.R. Fitch in person. J.R., doing business as Nine Dragons Software, is the creator of Hong Kong Mahjong (HKMJ), one of the top computer mah-jongg programs in the Western world (it being necessary to regard the Japanese market as a separate and special case). Although we have been correspondents for seven or eight years, we'd never met until I went to San Francisco for a cell phone games conference a week and a half ago. We chatted over Chinese food (photo below).

The second event is Nine Dragons' recent release of COMJ, the Chinese Official rules add-on for HKMJ, [no longer] available at Here's a game I played. Joe Cheung was E, Auntie Loo was S, Wing Yin was W, and I was N.

Wanting to keep my options for a chows hand or All Types, I discarded 3B for starters. A few turns later I started getting rid of lone honors. When Auntie Loo threw Wh, I had to decide quickly. Passed. Soon:

Maybe Seven Pairs? Seemed unlikely - only four pairs - wall getting short. Threw 7B. Picked 8C twice in a row. Not long after, I was ready. Six pairs.

Both 3D and G were dangerous to throw (3D a little less so, since Joe was showing one in a chow). G being perhaps unlikely to get, it was still my keeper. Picked 5D, threw it back... wall game. Nobody won. Dang! Well, that's how it goes in mah-jongg sometimes.

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Read about the 2002 WCMJ.

Read about the 2003 CMOC.

The next big events are the 2004 CMOC and the 2005 OEMC.

Want to play Chinese Official rules on your computer? Four Winds from Lagarto & Armadillo Graphics is available at

© 2004 Tom Sloper. All rights reserved.