6th World Mah-jong Championship from 31st October to 3rd November 2019 Villefranche-sur-Saone
For the first time, France will receive World Mahjong Championship in Villefranche-sur-Saone,
Atelier room, from 31st October to 3rd November 2019. This event, which takes place every 3
years, establishes its 6th occasion at the heart of Beaujolais where will come around 250
players from the whole world.
End 2018, after Pisa's withdrawal, the French Mahjong Federation, associated with Mahjong
Club du Rhône, presents its application for the organisation of this worldwide event.
International authorities, EMA (European Mahjong Association) and WMO (World Mahjong
Organisation), have supported this project, which beyond that competition, has highlighted a region of wine and culinary traditions which is the Beaujolais. This region, near Lyon, is
known to everyone for its famous wine, the Beaujolais, available in ten "Crus" and of course, The "Beaujolais nouveau". After Netherlands in 2010, the France is the second European country to receive this worldwide event.
The tournament enables the 256 players to meet around 64 tables of 4 players. Each game of
16 deals lasts at the maximum 2 hours. In total, 10 rounds will allow to know the winner of
this 6th occasion.
A special training course day for the international referees, under the aegis of the WMO, is
organized on Thursday the 31st October. It is also an opportunity to harmonize the refereeing
practices for the tournament.
Next to the event, the general assembly of the European Mahjong Association (EMA) will take
place. EMA unites the national organisations of European countries.
Following the creation of the WMO in 2005 and the standardization of the rules in 2006
translated into 3 languages (Chinese, English and Japanese) in the Greenbook, the first
official World Championship has taken place in 2007 under the aegis of the WMO.
2007 1st WMC in Chengdu in China
Individual ranking: Li Li(China), Zhangfei Zhang (China), Minoru Imaeda (Japan)
2010 2nd WMC in Utrecht in the Netherlands
Individual ranking: Linghua Jiao (China), Olivier Boivin (France), Elisabeth Frischenschlager
2012 3rd WMC in Chongqing in China
Individual ranking: Yanbin Duan (China), Zhangfei Zhang (China), Changjian Li (China)
Best French: Andre BALAGOROU
2015 4th WMC in Jeju in South Korea
Individual ranking: Zhou Yong (China), Linghua Jiao (China), Joel Ratsimandresy (France)
2017 5th WMC in Xi'an in China
Individual ranking: Baohua Sun (China), Joël Ratsimandresy (France), Jianzhong Jiang
th In 2019, it's Europe's turn to receive the 6 World Championship. In early 2018, the city of
Pisa was selected. However, Italy had to give up. Villefranche sur Saone and Amsterdam have
set up an application.
Finally, this 6th WMC 2019 will be held in Villefranche sur Saone.
The organiser and his partners
Following the WMO call for applications, The FFMJ, via the Mahjong Club du Rhône, has
obtained the immense honour of organizing World Championship of Mah-jong 2019
The French Mah-jong Federation has been created at the first European Mah-jong
championship on 24th June 2005 in Nijmegen in the Netherlands.
The FFMJ is an association which aims at promoting and controlling the practice of Mah-Jong
in France and throughout the French national territory.
The FFMJ brings together thirty clubs in France, all with the status of non-profit associations.
In total, more than 600 members give themselves over Mahjong for leisure or competition.
Since 2018, its President is Matthieu PFEIFFER, official European Champion since 2017.
The FFMJ is a member of the EMA since its creation.
The EMA was also created in 2005 with seven founding countries. For 14 years, the practice of
Mah-jong has grown to all European countries. In 2018, there are 21 member countries.
France, which is the biggest Mah-jong european nation, has a seat at the EMA Presidium; It
therefore participates fully in the decisions taken in Europe.
EMA manages the Mah-jong practice in Europe (rules, refereeing…), validates European
tournaments and produces European ranking of top players.
Since 2017, its President is Luc HUMBERT, also President of the Swiss Association of Mahjong.
Outside of the Mahjong tournament held in Beijing in October 2005, representatives from
China, Japan, the United States, Germany, France, Denmark, Hungary and Europe jointly
initiated the World Mahjong Organization (WMO), and adopted the resolution of the meeting,
the meeting unanimously approved Mr. Yu Guangyuan of China as the President of the World
Mahjong Organization. He is also the Honorary Chairman of the Chinese Mahjong committee,
and the Secretary-General is Jiang Xuanqi. The meeting made it clear to carry forward the
Olympic spirit, advocate healthy, scientific and friendly mahjong culture, and unify the
competition rules, to promote the high noble and elegant intellectual competitive mahjong in
the world for the purpose of promotion. The World Mahjong Organization is a non-profit,
non-religious, open and authoritative organization to hold mahjong competitions around the
world.The headquarters is in Beijing. After Mr. Yu guangyuan passed away in 2013, Mr. Wang
Zhiguo took over as president and Mr. Jiang Xuanqi as secretary-general.
The World Mahjong Organization has developed from the initial eight countries into more than
40 countries, and is still developing, expanding to five continents. Some international
organizations have included it in their competitions.
A bit of history
"Mahjong originated in China and belongs to the world." Mahjong is a game that one against
three, based on a system of pick and discard tiles, which are the equivalent of game cards.
The process from disorder to order reflects the flexible thinking of discard and chow. Mahjong
is a civilized and harmonious game, chow, peng and kong is take another three players
discard tiles or self-drawn, rather than took your opponent own piece, is to rely on their own
wisdom combination of varieties to win, mahjong is the crystallization of human wisdom.
This ancestral game is the most popular game in China. It was invented in the middle of the
th 19 century but its roots are even older. It's played at any age and at any social status. In
China, one in two household has a mah-jong game.
th At the beginning of the 20 century, the mah-jong has diffused throughout the world.
Aesthetically pleasing, it's an Orient's symbol. The middle-class families brought back games
from their travels. However, the practice of Mah-jong remains restricted outside of China.
th In 1998, the equivalent of Franch Minister of Youth and Sport admitted Mah-jong as the
In 2005, World Mahjong Organization established. Chinese and English edition of international was set up in 2006 under Mr. Yu GuangYuan, the President of the World Mahjong Organization, according to the passion and participation of Mahjong fans from the whole world. An international collaboration between China, Japan and Europe allows the redaction of the Greenbook and the formalization of MCR (Common Rules of Mah-jong) which becomes the official rule for the international Mah-jong competitions.
In 2017, Mah-jong has been formalized as World Spirit Sport, just like chess, the draughts,
the go, the Chinese chess, the bridge and the poker.
In the manner of the rummy, 4 players play individually by drawing and discarding a tile in
turns. The winner is the first person who shows his 14 tiles combined in combination,
generally some tierces (Chow) or three tiles of a kind (Pung) and one pair.
A round takes place in 16 deals. Every 4 deals, players change seats.
At the beginning, players build a wall of 2 tiles of thickness. The throw of the dice determines
the location in the wall from where the pick starts.
Each player starts with 13 tiles. At the discretion of the pick or of the opponent's discard,
each player builds his hand with some combinations of tiles. The first one who combines his
14 tiles (13 basic + 1 picked or discarded) declares Mahjong and shows his hand in order to
have it confirmed by his opponents and to count his points.
According to the combinations realised, among 81, the winner scores 8 points or more. In the
manner of poker or tarot, it's the losers who "pay" the winner.
At the end of the 16 deals, the points are counted. The winner of the round is the one who
counts the greatest number of points.
A deal lasts on average between 5 and 10 minutes. In tournament, a round lasts 120 minutes
maximum. It's finished even if the 16 deals aren't entirely played.
The mahjong is a strategy game. The observation of the discards and of the exposed
combinations allows to interpret the opponents' games and to guide your discard. However,
it's also a question of rapidity. The first one who finishes is the winner of the game. It's
therefore necessary to build the most probable hands without necessarily searching to build
the most "expensive" combinations. But of course, all of that evolves in the course of the
proceeding of the game and of the success induced by the pick system.
Relaxation game or competition sport, the mah-jong charms by its diversity, its rapidity and
Mahjong are rich in meaning, which reflects the profound connotation of mahjong culture. The
game is composed of 144 tiles, initially in wood or in bones, they are today composed of
Each tile exists in 4 copies.
The 3 families numbered from 1 to 9
The tiles numbered 1 and 9 are said terminal tiles
These eight additional tiles aren't included in the build of combinations. As soon as they are
picked, they are substituted by a tile (family or honour) also picked.
The winner of the deal increases his score as much as the number of picked flowers.
Championship use WMO issued standard Mahjong tables and tiles.
An event fixed in Beaujolais area
Beyond the tournament which will mobilize the players, the organizing team wants to make
this event shining in Beaujolais. So, the whole sporting aspect will take place in the city
centre (game, meals, opening and closure ceremony), a gala reception in a surprise place but
also some activities for the non-players.
Organizing Committee of 6th World Mahjong Championship