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By Tom Sloper

September 5, 2004

Column #178

Chinese Official Tournament Rules. Earl's hand was ready, needing 3C. Only problem was, he had three of them in his hand already. If someone was using it, he'd never complete his hand. Not only that, his hand was composed of one- and two-point combinations, just barely giving him the 8-point minimum. Luck was with him - Samantha threw the last 3C. "Hu!"

He proceeded to add up the points. "Wind Pung, Tile Hog, Missing One Suit, Last Tile..." then he clicked the picked 3C on three groupings: the 123, the 234, and the 33 pair: "Edge Wait, Closed Wait, Single Wait. Eight points."

He looked up at the others, expecting them to be amazed at his feat of making all three unique waits. But what he saw was two heads shaking "no," and one head being scratched in confusion.

"You can't claim the tile as part of a chow and part of a pair," Waiyee objected. Samantha agreed: "You have to choose which unique wait you want. You can't have all three." Noriko stopped scratching and chimed in, "That's what I thought."

Earl defended himself. "Look in the book. Page 7: 'Combinations which do not add to the variety of tiles are acceptable.' Read the fine print. It's very clear."

Samantha said, "This was discussed on the forum. The guy who wrote that fine print acknowledged that in fact it isn't clear in saying what it's supposed to - that you may not claim more than one unique wait. Your hand is only six points. Game not over. Put your tiles back up." Waiyee nodded. Earl, not having followed the forum discussions, had to concede in the face of the majority.

They continued playing in preparation for the Open European Mahjong Championship, which will take place in Nijmegen, The Netherlands, June 24~26, 2005. You can read all about it at http://www.mah And you can participate in the discussions about the upcoming event on the forum at This great event follows after the first ever World Mahjong Championship, which occurred in Tokyo, Japan, October 22-27, 2002 ( http://www.sloperama. com/WCMJ/wcmjmain.htm). The precise date and location of the second World competition is not yet known. But I predict that it will occur in 2006 (four years after the first). You can download the official rules at officialintro.htm.

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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.

© 2004 Tom Sloper. All rights reserved.