Friday 27 February 2015

Conquering the Mountain in Kathmandu: A Mahjong Sojourn

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KATHMANDU Nepal, February 21st - When I first arrived in Kathmandu, the airport arrivals curb was busy and alive! The locals, noting a foreigner had arrived in their midst, surrounded me asking me all manner of questions as to the nature of my stay. Was I there to climb Mount Everest? Was I in need of a Sherpa guide? Did I have a ride to base camp at the foot of the mountain? Looking around at my fellow passangers, and the gear they were collecting from the terminal, there among them were backpack frames, ropes, cleated boots, and all manner of climbing paraphinalia. There was no doubt Kathmandu was the launching basin for brave expeditions to climb up the face of the tallest and most formidible mountain in the world. But I was in Kathmandu to conquer a mountain of a different sort; a mountan of tiles—Mahjong.

Scott D. Miller, MD of Mahjong News travels to Nepal to talk mahjong, learn new styles, and build new bonds in the basin city of Kathmandu, nestled in the shadows of the tallest mountain in the world.

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EMA modifies riichi rules

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COPENHAGEN - The European Mahjong Association has changed the rules for official riichi tournaments. For the better part, the modifications are not of major importance; most striking novelty is the change of the uma (a bonus or penalty for the players at the end of a session). 

According to EMA president Tina Christensen, the rules have been revised in order to avoid ambiguities. Scoring examples have been added for clarity. Double yakuman (a limit score) has been omitted except for Big Four Winds and rules on etiquette and tournament play have been added.

The uma used to be 9,000 points for the winner of a hanchan, 3,000 for the player number 2, minus 3,000 points for the player number three and minus 9,000 points for the last players. These figures have been changed to +30,000, +10,000, -10,000 and -30,000.

Some players will regret that the old-fashioned opening ritual should have vanished, including the status off being 'temporary East'.

Especially for novices to the game, the scoring examples are very interesting. 

Download the new EMA riichi rules

Comments (4)Comments are closed
1Friday, 10 February 2012 14:36
Bunta
If the red 5s would be removed and open tanyao allowed the rules would be even better.
But i appreciate the current changes cuz they minimize the luck factor a bit.
2Saturday, 11 February 2012 17:16
Senechal Duhaut
Bunta's comment, while pertinent (especially in the light of Europe wanting to organize a world championship, seeking support from leagues with open tanyao), is far from happening any time soon.

To shorten my point, kuitan-nashi Mahjong is like Formula 1 racing with 3 tires. It's probably a great learning exercise (good) that they turned into the only form of testing (bad). If that was the only problem, most people could live with that. The bigger problem for EMA Mahjong is their tolerance for a type of call that would be considered cheating anywhere else: tolerating the pick-and-switch for the same tile. (chi 78+9, throw nine; pon 11+1, throw one)

For a WC-Riichi event to succeed, that last point needs to be addressed once and for all. As for the rest of the rules, it will most likely be a take it or leave it scenario. There's nothing we can do about it.
3Monday, 13 February 2012 14:23
Sylvain Malbec
JPML rule A is kuikae ari too, and even if you can you'll rarely "pick-and-switch" anyway, so that would not be much a problem.

IMO, kuitan nashi will be the most problematic point for a world championship.
4Tuesday, 14 February 2012 09:48
Benjamin Boas
Finally! ^_^
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