The Third World Mahjong Championship Held in Chongqing

The Third World Mahjong Championship held in Chongqing on Oct 28, 2012. The photo shows the players compete in the tournament on Tuesday, the third day of competition. This Championship is organized by south China’s Chongqing Municipality. As a centuries-old Chinese board game, how can it maintain its international flavor? Let’s just go to the scene.There are totally 188 participants in the championship tournament and 84 of whom are foreigners from 13 countries and regions around the world to compete for individual and team awards.“Mahjong is the most interesting game I’ve ever seen, and the various patterns and characters carved in each tile make it feel like it’s from a mysterious, oriental culture,” said Dan Graham, a 65-year-old Swedish player. According to the Chengdu-based West China City Daily on Monday.At the end of the competition, only two foreigners were in the top 10. Organizers say the winner of the three-day tournament will awarded an automated Mahjong table.An American who has worked in Beijing for years told the Global Times that the game’s elements are a fun way to get into traditional Chinese culture.“We are promoting Mahjong to get onto the list of World Intangible Cultural Heritage, as the increasing popularity among foreigners makes it a global game that originated in China,” Jiang Xuanqi, secretary of the World Mahjong Organization reported by the local newspaper. However, there are also many objectors of this popular game in China due to its negative effects.“Mahjong is criticized by some for its negative role in leading people into gambling,” Zhang Yiwu, professor with the Department of Chinese Language and Literature at Peking University said, adding that it is because of this Mahjong is not qualified to be listed as a World Intangible Culture Heritage.But it is undeniable that Mahjong has become one of the most popular board games in the world and gained foreigners’ obsession.