Thursday 24 April 2014


Readers’ Comments

153Monday, 21 April 2014 14:33
Edwin Phua
I doubt we have to worry about this particular detail, because unless there are companies that sell such tables can ship worldwide and service such equipment, we will be unable to comply with this rule.

China itself has hundreds of brands, so only allowing some companies which meets its requirements provide tables for tournaments as an assurance seems reasonable.
152Monday, 21 April 2014 10:15
Senechal D.
If the WMCC plans on regulating the use of autodealers, could they publish a list? Also, what *authority* lets them decide table A is good, table B is bad? Have they had problems with Amos or Alban, and what exactly do they propose as a better alternative? --- Other than that, I suppose people who enjoy playing government rules now have the option to have fun playing simple government rules too. cough
151Monday, 21 April 2014 07:46
Edwin Phua
We have been following the changes to the main rules as well. This update (as well as the 2011 Chinese update) are mainly cosmetic in nature, as none of the rules have been significantly altered. A lot of problematic areas still exist in the fouls and penalties section without change, which have to be corrected via addenda released during each major competition, such as at WMC 2012, and at the recent China Mahjong Championship 2014.
150Monday, 21 April 2014 07:42
Edwin Phua
Probably, the major difference now is not actually the omission of several scoring elements, but the reduction of the winning requirement from 8 points to 6 points. This is probably concommittant with the omission of several important two-point scoring elements such as All Chows, All Simples, Seat Wind, and Round Wind.

Beginners may learn to play effectively within this system, but the full rules will be like a totally different system. Would habits learnt here be difficult to unlearn?
149Monday, 21 April 2014 07:39
Edwin Phua
We in Singapore have been analysing the new beginners' rules (the 'primary' rules) using the Chinese version which was released about two weeks earlier.

We are troubled by this new development, as we feel that the new beginners' rules may hinder learning of MCR rather than aid it. We feel that there are negative consequences in transitioning from this beginners' ruleset to the full ruleset for beginners.

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Tom Sloper's amazing Mumbai Mahjong Adventure

Clipping from DNA India with Tom's pictureTom Sloper teaches mahjong to severall classes in the state of California, where he resides. He was quite surprised to get an invitation to give some lessons in India. He reports for Mahjong News about his amazing journey.

 

Sushila Singh found me when I was with Activision, writing the mahjong FAQs. That was ten years ago, and we've kept up a mahjong correspondence ever since. Last fall she asked me if I would come to India if she could get me a plane ticket. I figured she was talking through her hat, but sure, I said. If you get me a plane ticket I'll come. She was sure she could, so she pressed me for a timeframe. I would have preferred to make such a trip during the Christmas-New Year break between semesters (I teach game design and production at the University of Southern California), but many of her ladies would be out of town for the holidays too.
 
Waiting until after the spring semester was no good -- it would be the height of monsoon season, she said. Rainy and very hot. So I opted for Spring Break (mid-march), when it would be just hot.  Lo and behold, a plane ticket arrived. Sushila is very good at plotting and planning.  She'd taught mahjong to dozens of ladies, and 40 of them chipped in to buy me a ticket.
 
She met me at the airport and took me to her home in southern Mumbai. I could stay in her mahjong room (formerly her son's room, before he married and started his own family). I got to meet Sushila's husband Pretap ("Pete") and daughter Abhilasha, and live-in servant Padam.
 
After a day of acclimatization, I had a chance to meet Sushila's Monday group (minus one, who I was replacing that day). I had a crash course in Mumbai-style mahjong. Based on British/Western rules, their game changes rules each round.
 
East.  A modified Classical-style "four sets and a pair."
 
South. Special Hands (British/Western): Gate Hands, Snake Hands, Jewel Hands, Unique Wonders (13 Orphans), Crochet (Knitting), Gertie's Garter, Greta's Garden, etc. (Note that the Indian Army Wives game forces the player to play just one specific special hand, determined randomly by the draw of a card from a deck, while Mumbai rules permit playing whatever special hand suits the tiles dealt.)
 
West
. Clean hands (Half Flush), pungs only (no chows) - includes a goulash exchange of tiles preceding play.
 
North. Dealer's Choice. Each dealer, in turn, declares how her game should work, and what tile acts as joker, if any. Imagination is the rule of the day.
 
There are other unique aspects to Mumbai mahjong, like the tiles being dealt to the players by the player sitting by the dealing wall, the use of a kitty, and the ability to "buy" a discard and take it into the hand.



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