|By Tom Sloper
August 9, 2009
American Mah Jongg (2009 NMJL card). By request: analysis of a Charleston. Here's what I was dealt:
As often happens, no jokers. Pair twos and many nearby number tiles. So I was thinking Consec. at this time. And possibly 2468 due to the other evens in the hand. I passed R 9C 9B and got 9C 8D W in return.
I was still thinking Consec. with 2468 backup. If I went 2468, the 6C wouldn't be needed (too far from the 2C pair), so I passed 6C 9C W across. I got 2D 5D 5C in return.
Now I saw clearly that I had a predominantly low-numbers hand, and should give up on 2468. I had two eights I could pass, and the only five I really needed to keep was 5B (for Consec. #2), so I chose one to get rid of: 5D.
"First left." I got G R F, and now had this:
Now I could think about specific hands:
And I knew I had 3 tiles I could pass, so I did not stop the Charleston. Passed 2B 5C R left. In return, I got 1B 5B 5B. This was a significant pass, a watershed moment. Now I recounted my hands:
So I killed Consec. #4, passed 2D 1B G across. Got junk: 1D 6D 9C, and passed that along right.
Got 4B R 0. This new 4B enhanced the hand greatly.
I didn't want to get rid of 3D yet - it went nicely with the F pair for Consec. #5, so I was just about to offer two across in the courtesy (the dragons). But then I thought if I kept 0, I had six tiles towards Consec. #6. So I offered R to my opposite, and got 1B.
Eight tiles towards the ever-reliable Consec. #2, with a couple of fallback options, six tiles each. A strong starting position.
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