- Created on Tuesday, 14 June 2011 08:29
- Last Updated on Wednesday, 28 November 2012 18:00
- Written by Vitaly Novikov
It's holiday time. The whole European mahjong world is looking at Mestre in Italy, where the European championship will take place.
Sherlock Holmes will take a little holiday as well. Before that, Mahjong News presents a Sherlock Holmes mahjong story. No solution required - just fun to read.
Enjoy!Dr. Watson is reading an article in “Mahjong News”:
“At the MCR London championship 2011 some accident took place. Judges had to make an extremely difficult decision. Clarifications could be made only when both rulebooks – Chinese and English – were thoroughly examined.”
So, Mrs. Hudson is playing at MCR tournament. Her hand is:
opened -- , , , concealed -- , .
She picks . “Looks like mahjong? Oh, no! Too few points:
4 = Last Tile
2 = Tile Hog
1 = Self-drawn
Totalling = 7 pts.”
“One point is missing, what a pity! Once there is no mahjong I would declare Kong” – she thought.
Suddenly, very queer thought came to her mind: “I can Rob it!”
“Mahjong!” – she declared proudly.
“Where is mahjong? You have only 7 points!” – questioned one of opponents.
“ I robbed a Kong!”
“But you can’t do it! That Kong is yours!”
“Really? I think I can!” – Mrs. Hudson opened the “Green Book”. – “Let’s call a judge and read out altogether”.
Two judges came to the table – British one and Chinese.
“See p.20, description of fan #47 “Robbing The Kong”: “Winning off the tile that somebody adds to a melded pung (to create a Kong). (The points for Last Tile may not be combined.)” – read aloud Mrs. Hudson.
“See the word somebody? I am English, this is my native language. I know what the word somebody means. It can be any person including yourself surely”.
Huge silence pause was broken by Chinese judge.
“You see, madam, there is other text in “Green Book” see end of “Preface” section at p.3”:
“These rules and regulations exist in both Chinese and English editions. As disputes may arise out of a faulty translation or different understandings, they must be settled according to the original Chinese edition.”
“I must assure you Madam, that in Chinese we use Characters  “other person(s)”. That is correct. We undoubtedly have to contact the Rules Committee with the issue occurred. As for your hand we could not count it as mahjong. Though I propose to not penalize you. Simply continue to play after you have made a Kong.”
“Thank you very much!” – said Mrs. Hudson and opened replacement tile. It was . I knew it! Hu!”
This piece of “Sherlock Holmes and Mahjong” series comes in a form of story without questions. The author's intentions were merely to urge players to read the original rules text more carefully.
And here is some quote from some version or Riichi rules ("Toudai-shiki", http://www.ofb.net/~whuang/ugcs/gp/mahjong/mahjong.html) regarding Kong Robbery, :
"220.127.116.11 (1) QUAD STEAL ("Rob a kong", chankan) This is when the winning tile is one that another player has drawn and has attempted to add to an already-melded tri with it. As winning takes precedence over making a quad, this is legal. "
See, there is a big difference between notions "another player" and "somebody”.