Tag Archives: mahjong news


I wonder if I could play for 24 straight hours? Maybe…in my dreams! How about you?screen-shot-2016-11-02-at-10-49-04-am

Danilo Serio MCR Tournaments 31 October 2016


MILAN, ITALY – Like last year, Luca Gavells wins the 24 hour tournament in Milan; at the second place was the Russian Aleksei Shpilman and third place was won by Stefano Rijoff.

28 players participated at the competition, with total entertainment from everybody. Thanks for organization to Italian Federation and the club of Milan, Associazione Italiana Mahjong. 



From the most recent issue of Mahjong News and written by Scott D. Miller:

Screen Shot 2015-10-17 at 12.18.27 PM


Care to play bones, anyone?

ORLANDO, Florida – Lurking in the dreary lobby of the haunted Hollywood / Twilight Zone Tower of Terror ride in Disney’s Hollywood Studios lays dormant a terrifying game of unfinished mahjong. It’s participants fled following a mysterious lighting strike at exact 8:05 PM October 31st 1939 that vanished several unfortunate guests.


A ghostly game of mahjong with four dead hands.

Even more terrifying than the mysterious disappearance of the hotel guests is that every single one of the hands in the mahjong game is a dead hand! Ahhhh!

Well, that was true when that top photo was taken, but Disney tour guides now claim that the hands have been reshaped by “professional” mahjong players to be an accurate portrayal of a mahjong game in mid-play, and should the mysterious guests ever return, they could pick up where they left off.


All your hands belong to us.

With the joker tiles on the table, and flower tiles being held in the concealed hand, they could only have been playing National Mah-Jongg League rules. Assuming the dice indicate East and counting the melded pung of 3-dots she has on the table, East holds fourteen tiles and is waiting to discard. All this is acceptable, but not even the NMJL rules can account for the bizarrely melded pair of Souths and melded pair of red dragons on the near edge of the table. Is she playing with eighteen tiles in the hand and melding pairs? Ignoring the similarly unexlicable melds for the rest of the players, South at least currently holds the proper number of thirteen tiles in the hand, but West still has only twelve tiles, and North has only nine! The horror!

Mahjong News | Copyright © 1997-2015



From Mahjong NEWS comes this exciting article about the newest addition to Mah Jongg – Duplicate Mah Jongg!

Published on Thursday, 14 May 2015 04:45

Written by Tina Christensen

New Mahjong International League Elevating Mahjong As A Mind Sport – Introduces New Duplicate Mahjong Rules

BeijingMay2015 duplicate mahjong

Pavel Anokhin, Li Wenlong, Li Ping, and Jiao Linghua demonstrate Duplicate Mahjong.

BEIJING, China 11 May 2015- Mahjong International League – A new development on the world scene: a group dominated by young players from Beijing club Fangzhuang have been working on a plan to “sportify” mahjong with the intension of entering mahjong into the family of mind sports in the International Mind Sports Association (IMSA).

BEIJING, China 11 May 2015- Mahjong International League – A new development on the world scene: a group dominated by young players from Beijing club Fangzhuang have been working on a plan to “sportify” mahjong with the intension of entering mahjong into the family of mind sports in the International Mind Sports Association (IMSA).

The group includes world famous players such as Xu Huaou (4th in the WMC 2010 in Utrecht), Zhang Zhangfei (3rd in the WMC in 2012 in Chongqing), Li Li (winner of the WMC in 2007 in Chengdu) and Gao Jun. The director of the Fangzhuang club is Mrs. Zhou Guijun, referee at WMC’s. She is also the mother-in-law of Li Wenlong, who is the main contact point for the initiative that works towards the establishment of the Mahjong International League, MIL, and the acceptance of MIL into the International Mind Sports Associations, IMSA. The initiative has a strong sponsor in the back, Frank Wu, CEO of Ourgame aka Lianzhong and the support of José Damiani, Honorary President of IMSA. Representatives from mahjong organisations in Europe, Singapore, Japan and 8 Chinese provinses attended a preparatory workshop in Beijing for the establishment of MIL. The timeline aims for establishment on October 24-26, 2015, in Sanya, Hainan, China in connection with a tournament for some 400 players.

The attendents were also treated with two playing sessions of Duplicate Mahjong, a concept inspired by Contract Bridge with the purpose to remove the luck element of mahjong, which is an IMSA requirement. Duplicate Mahjong A session with 4 teams and one full game of 16 hands was played. (16 players, 4 teams, 4 tables). The wall set-up has been randomly determined. The wall set-up is manually duplicated for each table. The tiles are prepared so each player receives a box with three tile rows: 13, 11 and 10 tiles. The 13 tiles is the starting hand, the 10 and 11 is the player’s personal wall. No flower tiles are used. Each team has a team member at each of the four tables. Each team has one player in East posittion, one player in South etc. So all together the four team members experience all the four pre-set walls.

BeijingMay2015 preparing trays

Organizers prepare the duplicate trays.

After each hand the scores of the team members are added. The whole exercise means that the efforts of the player teams can be directly compared. Together the four team mates have played with exactly the same tiles as all the other teams. The game sessions were very convincing as a proof of concept. The game flow is quite different. In the beginning you really want to draw tiles from other players’ walls because you’re used to reaching for the place in the wall where the previous player drew a tile. But there are several advantages to having your personal wall. You can always reach it. For players who are not tall, this can be an issue at most mahjong tables. Also, when you claim a tile (call, discard and then claim) you are never colliding with the next player trying to draw a tile while you are trying to claim the last discard. And if you knock over tiles, it’ll be your own, so less awkwardness. I am certain some players willl find this game flow strange. If someone makes a pung, normally that means that you will now draw a different tile in the wall than you would have without the pung. With you personal wall that is not the case. Reruns were shown were the game play of the same hand at the four tables is viewed simultaneously.

BeijingMay2015 duplicate trays

Trays used for preparing predetermined identical walls to be played at each table.

This is evidently a wonderful analytical tool. While the Fangzhuang club can handle the logistics, I believe it will take a while before Europe is ready to try out the concept IRL. The number of special tile trays to prepare, the number of mahjong sets and human resources is staggering. However, an on online platform will be released late June for international online playing of Duplicate Mahjong, so everyone can try out the concept. The rules are MCR, though likely in a version closer to the original 1998 edition, rather than the current MCR rules.

BeijingMay2015 tic playing duplicate

Shen Yangsheng, Zhou Guijun, Tina Christensen, Kimito Kugimiya trying their hand at Duplicate Mahjong.

Mahjong News | Copyright © 1997-2015


Our friends Katherine Hartman, Ray Heaton, Bill Price, Tony Watson, and Michael Stanwick have put together a beautiful new quarterly magazine, “The Mahjong Collector.” We are all so excited to see the first edition and I thought you would like to know about this new publication put together by these five avid Mah Jongg collectors. Here is a nice review from Mahjong News

New Mahjong Magazine on the Scene: “The Mahjong Collector”


UNITED KINGDOM, February – Unique to the special interest, print magazine market is the new quarterly magazine, The Mahjong Collector, featuring articles on mahjong history, tile restorations, tile symbolism, set restoration and interviews with collectors. Filled with may stunning photos of a wide variety of tile sets, boxes, and other mahjong paraphernalia.

This publication is unique for it is the only periodical dedicated to a diverse group of people – Mahjong tile set collectors, be they also players, researchers or students of the game.

Published by The Mahjong Collector Company Limited, The Mahjong Collector magazine will be composed of a range of in-depth articles and interviews, accompanied by high quality photographs, in glorious colour, of tile sets found in personal collections and museums.

The authors are drawn from all fields of enquiry and creativity related to the tile set, such as origins, materials, language symbolism, cultural variations and the aesthetics of tile set decorations for example.

This is a United Kingdom publication.  Subscriptions: subscriptions@mahjongcollector.com   Subscription rates for four quarterly issues:  UK £26.00, USA $56.00, all other mailing addresses please inquire at info@mahjongcollector.com.


Gregg and I were interviewed last week about our book by Scott Miller from Mahjong News. I thought you might like to learn a little more about us…

Swain & Israel  <—-Me!

Ann M. Israel and Gregg Swain were after private Western mah jongg collections when they invaded many homes during their search, but they aren’t burglars! They are photo-archeologists, and private homes were their dig! Hidden deep in the dark of basements, closets, and attics all over this world are some of the most amazing mah jongg treasures people might never see; tiles carefully hand carved and painted by artisans long forgotten. Like skillful and patient archeologists, Ann M. Israel and Gregg Swain set out to unearth these lost works of art before they are forgotten forever.

readmore at http://www.mahjongnews.com/en/news/various-news/3391-ladies-invade-homes-in-search-of-of-mah-jongg-sets


Wow – a great review on our book just came out from             Mahjong News

Sunday 09 November 2014

New Book Release Showcases the Art of Mah Jongg!


Book front cover.

Book Review – Mah Jongg: The Art of the Game

Example mah-jongg rack closeup

Example rack close up.

BOOK REVIEW – Ann M. Israel and Gregg Swain note in their introduction that there are few books that showcase the beauty and artistic nature of the Mah Jongg tiles, and so that is what she and her collaborators set out to create, and they succeeded in exquisite style.

From Tuttle Publishing comes this absolutely gorgeous book ‘Mah Jongg: The Art of the Game’, by Ann M. Israel and Gregg Swain, with photographs by Michel Arnaud, packed with over 190 pages of beautiful illustrations showcasing the occidental experience of Mah Jongg through tiles both rare and exotic, printed in Hong Kong and copyrighted 2014.


Culminating the collective knowledge, sets, and resources of their many collaborators, the authors have assembled a stunning array of Mah Jongg sets from collectors and historians from around the world. By tapping many renowned Western Mah Jongg historians like Michael Stanwick, and experts like Tom Sloper, Woody Swain, Katherine Hartman, Dee Gallo and Bill Price, they have succeeded in surrounding the rare and intriguing photographs with rich text, history, and embellishments that make this book a treasure in any household.


Example Majong leisure

Flower tiles illustrating leisure.

When taking in the aesthetics of the tiles on display, one notices the tiles by and large represent those sets as imported to the West, with their Arabic numeral with Roman letter details and typical “American” dimensions. The variety on display is most unexpected, including not just the usual materials such as bone, bamboo, wood, ivory, Bakelite, Catalin, and paper, but some of these rare and collectible sets are even made of materials that defy identification. Just as beautiful as the tiles within are the boxes that hold them, drawing their carved inspiration from Southeast Asian motifs among temples, the ocean, man’s industry and nature.


Using a mix of historical black and white with contemporary full color exhibitions, the authors unravel through their pages Mah Jongg’s history, lore, art, beauty and fantasy into one of the most extensive displays of Western Mah Jongg art and accessories as one will probably ever see.

Mah Jongg: The Art of the Game by Ann M. Israel and Gregg Swain.

Photographs by Michel Arnaud.

Tuttle Publishing