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By Tom Sloper (湯姆·斯洛珀)

November 11, The Year Of The Pig
Column #343

Mahjong Competition Rules. The 2007 World Mahjong Championship is now history. Two things stand out in my mind.

First is the bizarre insistence of the WMCC in positioning this event as the "First" world championship. I was not alone in wearing a blue commemorative mahjong necktie with the words "World Championship 2002" written thereon. While I may be a voting member of the WMO, I am also, by gosh, a proud participant of that previous Tokyo event. If the Chinese persist in trying to rewrite the history books, and if the moniker "first" actually sticks to the 2007 WMC, then maybe we'll need to refer to the 2002 WMC as the "zeroth."

Second is my own performance. Yours truly is now officially the 127th-best mahjong player in the world. Yes, that's far from the first-best, and some of you reading this column could have scored better. But it's better than my score in Tianjin, so I'm not unhappy. I love this game, I learn more with each competition, and I love sharing what I learn, here in this column. I may have learned something important about myself this time. I did pretty well the first day: 4 table points the first session, and 1 point each in the next two sessions. But I earned only 1 more table point in the next five sessions. I find myself wondering if I always start strong but then lose steam. It's something I'll watch out for in the future.

Mahjong's public profile grows, slowly perhaps, but inexorably. I'm pleased that my efforts to promote mahjong (via my website and my book) were recognized. Several other authors, webmasters, and organizers, from China, Europe, and Japan, also received recognition. And I was interviewed in the local newspaper, whose website is at .

You can see the final results of the competition at The results may also be somewhere at too.

I recorded some interesting tile problems I ran across, and took lots of photos. I'll share the former here in future columns, and I'll post the photos online, with commentary, and share the link.

Edit: the photos are up! Go to


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© 2007 Tom Sloper. All rights reserved.