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By Tom Sloper (湯姆)

March 26, 2006 - The Year Of The Dog
Column #259

Chinese Official Tournament Rules. A new document from the World Mah-Jong Contest Center is circulating, which purports to clarify some rules and announce changes to some of the scoring elements. It's unknown how official this document is, but it's good to have a peek at what might be coming down the road.

The document is entitled, "The General Rules For The Competition Of Chinese Mah-Jong." It's a Microsoft Word file, circulating via email.

A significant terminology note: the Chinese term "fan" (which is familiar to players of most Asian forms, especially Japanese and Hong Kong styles, and to players of Yahoo's online mah-jongg game) is now used to refer to the scoring elements. Note: I pluralize the word as "fan," not "fans." Example: "Multiple fan may be added together to reach the hand's full score."

The document contains eleven fan changes and, unfortunately, five errors. It also spells out some clarifications to tournament procedures such as how dice are used to break the wall, and how much time is to be allowed for exposing flowers and making chows, for example. The document also spells out penalties for errors. Some or most of these things had already been described in The Handbook For The Competitions Of The China MaJiang. What's really news about these new General Rules are the fan changes.

Two Concealed Kongs has been increased in value. It's now worth eight points instead of six. Since the hands are listed and numbered, changing this fan's value shifted several fan (changing their fan numbers).

Pure Straight and Tile Hog may now be combined with Nine Gates. All Types may now be added to Lesser Honors & Knitted Tiles. A subset of Two Melded Kongs (one melded and one concealed), is now worth six points.

Heretofore, Fully Concealed was not permissible for several of the fan. But now, Fully Concealed may be combined with the following fan:

  • Nine Gates
  • Thirteen Orphans
  • Four Concealed Pungs
  • Seven Pairs
  • Seven Shifted Pairs
  • Greater Honors & Knitted Tiles
  • Lesser Honors & Knitted Tiles

    The new General Rules do settle one old controversy (assuming it's not an error). As discussed in columns 229 and 255, the problem of whether Big Four Winds can combine with All Terminals And Honors and Half Flush:

    According to the new General Rules, both fan may be added. This means we are closer to understanding the inscrutable rule ... Maybe.


    The first column on this topic was Column 229.
    And a later column on the topic was Column 259.

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    © 2006 Tom Sloper. All rights reserved.