Wednesday, June 13, 2007

The Game Begins

This blog is created to report on the activities of my mahjong group playing Mahjong Competition Rules (MCR, also known as Chinese Official) as well as discuss matters on mahjong (especially Singapore Style mahjong) that may come to mind. Disclaimer: I am not an expert on mahjong, just an enthusiast.

The reason why my mahjong group and this blog are more focused on MCR/CO mahjong (we usually call it COMJ for convenience) is that this variant is more international and is also rather interesting and challenging. There are many tournaments using this ruleset, although none in Singapore as far as I know. If there are going to be tournaments to be held in Singapore using this ruleset, I am sure I (and some members of my group) will participate for sure! Besides this competitive aspect (a good reason for this variant to be called Mahjong Competition Rules), it is also rather challenging in an intellectual way, and downplays the effect of luck. Thus the gambling is also not such an important factor for enjoying this variant of mahjong.

So, some people may be wondering: what exactly is MCR or COMJ? Well, MCR is the ruleset designed for international competition, such that players from different major mahjong traditions/styles in different countries like Japan, China, Hong Kong, and Taiwan, can meet and play. Of course, this new version does not resemble any of the major styles, but it does incorporate most of the traditional hands as well as many patterns from the various traditions. There are also rules that are meant to reduce the element of luck and promote defensive and deductive play. There are criticisms of this new ruleset, but mahjong players should judge for themselves whether this ruleset is worth playing.

Sadly, this new ruleset is not well known at all in Singapore, but I suppose the local Singapore Style and other regional styles (Taiwanese 16-tile, Hong Kong Old Style, Malaysian Style) are too well-entrenched. Who knows, but my little group may be the only mahjong players in Singapore playing COMJ, but I certainly hope this is not the case!

For the competitive element of COMJ, we keep track of the points (both in-game points and table points), just to see which players are doing well, and which players who are not doing so well. Updates and reports will be posted on this blog.

So, hopefully this blog can help spread the ruleset to others here in Singapore, and there may even be MCR tournaments held here in future! We all have to start somewhere.

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