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Kong Question - Last tile - Can One Kong It?
(Initiated message 13 Oct 1998 - Newsgroups: / File [maiarchives005])

From: Cofa Tsui
Subject: Re: Question about last tile
Date: 13 Oct 1998 00:00:00 GMT
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In article <>, (Alan Kwan) wrote:
> On 13 Oct 1998 10:31:02 +0200, (Klaus Ole Kristiansen)
> wrote:
> >Steve Lin writes:
> >[snipped]
> >How we play (Chinese Classical): if the last tile in the live wall is a
> >the hand ends immediately. I don't see what else you could do, since there
> >is no replacement tile available. The same thing happens if you make a kong
> >with the last tile in the live wall, or claim a discard for kong after the
> >live wall is exhausted, and the replacement is a bonus.
> Can one kong the last tile? I think one cannot kong because there are
> no (playable) tiles in the wall left for a replacement.

(Can one kong the last tile?)

I remember one game (I always remember THIS particular game!) which happened
long time before I wrote the first version of the rule book of IMJ Rules:

"There was only one tile remaining on the wall - We must draw to the last tile
and the one who draws it must discard one tile (any tile).

I (Cofa) was calling for a Red Dragon to complete the winning hand of the
Thirteen Godess.

It was Player A's turn to draw. (Believe me, I still remember his name!) He
drew the last tile from the wall. After thinking for *quite* a while what
tile he should discard to achieve a "safe landing", he, while smiling at me
(he knew my hand was going to be a high score hand), made a set of concealed
kong of 4 Red Dragon --- hoping this would end the game.

W O W ! That's exactly made for me! Need not to say: I won on that Red Dragon
with a lot of features to add up my scores: The Thirteen Godess; Robbing the
Kong; Win on the last exposed-Kong. I received FULL scores from EACH player."

I therefore believe, if you apply the "draw to the last tile" rule, you may
either discard the last tile (any tile from your hand), or kong it. In this
case, kong has the same effect as discard - other players can claim it. But
kong is safer than discard, as NOT EVERYONE can claim a kong - However,
theory does not necessarily apply to ALL cases!

COFA TSUI 1998-10-13
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From: "Cofa Tsui"
Subject: Re: Question about last tile
Date: 16 Oct 1998 00:00:00 GMT
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Steve Lin ????? <>...
>> Cofa Tsui replied:
>> >Yes, in IMJ Rules there is no "dead tile" on the wall.
>> What are the purposes of the "dead tiles"?
>> *** Perhaps Steve's choice of the term "dead tile" has sparked a
discussion on
>> an unrelated topic. Steve clearly /means/ to refer to what is normally
>> as "loose tiles" -- in the West, we use the term "dead tile" to refer to
>> discard that is no longer available for play.
>I believe both Cofa and I are referring to the same thing, the 'loose
>taken from the 'tail', or 'dead wall'.


My counter-argument is that there is a
>big difference between random loose tiles and tiles kept by other players.
>For example, one can usually observe a player going for 'pure color' and
>arrange to wait for a tile that he knows that particular player would
> The same goes with waiting for a wind or dragon tile, assuming all players
>have melded sets (or if "13 Ghosts" is not recognized), and two of the four
>tiles have already been discarded. In this case, anyone who picks up the
>fourth tile (you have the third) would have to discard it, or 'land safely'
>and give up his chance of winning. With the dead wall there's a good
>that fourth tile may never show up. We are talking about removing
>or 29% of the tile unavailable to a particular player. I think that's a
>significant statistical difference.

**You do have your point. However, as each Game progresses the strategies of
players tend to change too. There are chances some players may keep all
useless tiles in hand just for "safety" purposes. In that case many tiles
will not show up too untill at the end of the Game.

**I don't know why people tended to eliminate the "loose tiles" or "kong
box" in that stage of my history of mahjong playing. In that stage, when
negotiated at the beginning of each play, some players still felt more
comfortable to keep the "loose tiles" but some players insisted without it.

**I tend to support "zero dead wall" because if the "dead wall" serves as
secret of some tiles, that secret could exist in /other/ players' hands.
Besides, if all (or most) players are working on hands of very high rank,
the use of all tiles would push the excitement to the highest possible

It looks like only the NMJL and Western
>styles evolved into a zero "dead wall" rule.

**For your information, IMJ Rules has eliminated the "dead wall", too.

COFA TSUI 1998-10-15
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