By Tom Sloper

Thursday, May 29, 2003

Column #54

Chinese Official (CMCR). I interviewed Noriko in the "Kiss & Cry" area after the game and asked her a couple of questions about the hand she'd just played. "Why did you go for the Knitted hand?"

"I had nine tiles towards that hand, and eight towards an all-chow hand."

"A one-tile advantage on the Knitted hand would usually be strategically outweighed by the ability to call on the Chow hand. Any comment?"

"All rules are meant to be broken once in a while."

Let's see the replay, from Noriko's deal and first pick.

It's always wise to have at least two possibilities at the outset. And that's what Noriko had with these tiles.

But any tile Noriko discarded at this point would reduce her chances for one of the hands. Preserving the Knitted hand meant that her first discard could only be either 2B, 7B, 2C, 6D, or 7D. For starters, she threw 2C.

Let's fast-forward to the end of the hand. Here's what was showing on the table:

Noriko's hand had advanced by just two tiles. She took the last tile from the wall, 2B.

Needing a safe discard, Noriko read the river. Three Greens were on the floor, so that's what Noriko threw. Result: wall game.

I had one last question for Noriko. "So how do you feel about how you played that hand?"

"Nobody else won either, so I have no regrets."

"Thanks, Noriko. Better luck next time."

"Thanks. Can I say hello to my Mom?"

"No, we don't do that in this column."

"Aw, come on. All rules are meant to be broken once in a while."

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Copyright 2003 Tom Sloper. All rights reserved.