By Tom Sloper

Thursday, May 8, 2003

Column #33

Chinese Official (CMCR). In the Contest Rules, it's very difficult to tell when a tile is "safe" to throw. There is practically no such thing as defensive strategy in this variant!

Earl started to smile when he saw his tiles.

With four pairs, he could go for All Pungs or Seven Pairs. He decided that if he had an opportunity to get an E, he'd call it. He wound up picking it himself. Seven Pairs be darned - full speed ahead to All Pungs! A while later, when Noriko threw E, Earl konged it.

The others were impressed.

The 7B was raw, but he was going for it, so out it went. He breathed easier when nobody bit.

Much later, when Samantha threw W, Wei-Hwa konged it. Earl and Wei-Hwa exchanged a look, as the ladies exclaimed in dismay. On Earl's turn he got 5C.

Wei-Hwa had thrown two 5Cs already (and the third was on the floor), so Earl threw it

And what do you think happened? Wei-Hwa took it for mah-jongg.

Wei-Hwa's hand had been pretty much nowhere until he got a chance to get a tile that he'd already discarded before (if he'd kept it before, he couldn't have won - not enough points). Noriko played both CMCR and Japanese mah-jongg. "In Japanese rules, you can't win on a tile you threw before."

Wei-Hwa smiled. "How 'bout that!"

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Copyright 2003 Tom Sloper. All rights reserved.