The Mahjong competition was fun. I didn't get far, but the event was well planned, the rules were great to play, and the people; competitors and crew; were great.
I didn't make the second round of the competition. I carelessly provided the winning tiles for a few games, even when I knew that those tiles might very well be the winning tiles. I won't do that next time. Yes, next time. If I'm free, I'll go back next year although I'm quite sure the competition will be even harder.
The interesting thing about this competition is that it was designed to allow as many people as possible internationally to learn and enjoy the game. To that end, the organisers found a mahjong guru and they designed a set of rules that was the middle ground between Cantonese mahjong which is too minimal and restrictive for an international game, and Taiwanese Mahjong which is way too complicated for all but the fully dedicated players. The rules are available from the organiser's web site. I'm sure a lot of you will find the various 和 sets very interesting.
The competition will be much harder next year because several online mahjong sites in at least three languages including English, Chinese and Japanese have licensed the rules from the organisers and will be launched within the coming months. People all over the world will be able to learn and practice the World Series rules online. It'll make a big difference to the game.
By the way, I learned to play mahjong a lifetime ago in a game centre in China Town, Sydney, Australia ;-)
I can't wait to play again next year.