December 7, 2003
Chinese Official rules. I'm still practicing for the upcoming 2003 World China Mahjong Campionship. The butterflies are mounting!
In today's example, I was dealing, and here's what I wound up with:
All five types of tiles were in there, but my winds and dragons were all singles. Which made me yearn to do something with single honors. I only had one terminal in the suit tiles, but then I thought about Knitting... And glory hallelujah, it looked good!
I was only missing two tiles to make a complete knitted straight: 4B and 9C.
Newcomers to Chinese Official rules are often unclear on the concept of Knitting. Above you see 1-4-7, 2-5-8, and 3-6-9. But you could also look at it as knitted chows:
Observe that each chow has one of each suit, and the suit order is identical from one knitted chow to the other. That's good knittin'!
Back to my hand. As soon as I saw that I was only three tiles away from the Lesser Honors and Knitted hand, I went for it. I threw 2B and knew I wouldn't be able to call anything.
My next pick was 4B, which made me happy (but I didn't let it show), and I discarded 3D. Now my only discardable tile was 8C. I needed to pick 9C, W, N, or R, then I'd be ready to call whichever one I hadn't picked.
My next pick was 4D. I threw it back.
My subsequent pick, though, was W. Discarding 8C, I was ready for 9C, N, or R. It seemed very likely that somebody would discard one of those.
My next pick was 6C. I tossed it away. Then S discarded 9C.
Lesser Honors & Knitted (12), 2 flowers (2). Fourteen points.
Next week's column is being posted at the same time as this one. Don't know if I will be able to post from China.
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Copyright 2003 Tom Sloper. All rights reserved.