Mahjong is a game originated from china and also very popular in China. It is played by people with all kind of age and different social background. In China, one half of the family has a set of mahjong.
The game consists of 144 "dominoes" made by plastic, wood, bone or ivory which are called as "tiles". There are symbols of Chinese culture on these tiles such as the three dragons (Red, White and Green dragon) or the four winds (East, South, West and North wind) and other 3 families formed by bamboos, circles and Chinese characters numbered from 1 to 9.
During a game, 4 players compete until one of them finishes his game. When he wins, we note the score. And another a new game begins.
Mahjong is very similar with a western card game rummy as it is to make "Pung"(a set of three identical tiles), the "Kong" (a set of four identical tiles) or "Chow" (a meld of three suited tiles in sequence). This game is exciting because of a multitude of combinations with 144 tiles. A good mahjong player knows how to combine intuition, strategy and game analysis of his opponents.
This game is particularly attractive because of the beauty of tiles during the parties. Each section begins with the construction of the tiles called "wall" in connection with the Great Wall of China and each player is assigned a wind. In turn players draw and discard tiles until they complete a legal hand using the 14th drawn tile to form four groups (melds) and a pair (head). A winning hand can contain 14 to 18 tiles (there are many regional variations in the rules. In Europe, the winning hand is 14 tiles)
There are millions of players around the world and there are more and more participated in competitions.
That is the reason why organize international competitions is necessary to define an official rule. After two years research, they’ve gathered more than 440 combinations. Then they were first reduced to 200 and finally to 81. These 81 combinations have become the global benchmark. Japan, Taiwan, and Macao have immediately adopted it and the first World Championship was held in 2002 in Japan. Denmark, Germany, Austria, Hungary, Spain, Russia, the Netherlands, Italy, Belgium and France already have their National Federation. The first European Championship was held in June 2005 in the Netherlands.