By Tom Sloper

Monday, June 9, 2003

Column #65

Chinese Official (CMCR). Wei-Hwa examined his tiles and deemed them not without promise.

There was no question that he would be doing an all-chow hand of some kind. The 123D and 789C suggested a Mixed Straight, but he had zilch in the Bams. For starters, he threw 3B. On his next turn, he picked 9D and threw 7B. Now he had just two suits. But "One Voided Suit" is only one point; nothing to shoot for. He picked E, threw the 1C.

Shortly after, Noriko and Samantha had made pungs. Subsequently, when Wei-Hwa picked and threw another 1C, Noriko chowed it. She now had two exposures up.

Wei-Hwa got rid of his extraneous 9C when he picked G. Then Samantha made a second exposure.

The table was starting to look dangerous. Then Wei-Hwa picked 8D.

If he got 7D and 5D, he would have Pure Straight (a respectable 16-point hand). He threw the extra 9D, breaking up his only pair. When Samantha threw 5D, Wei-Hwa chowed it. There was one Red out, so he threw his. A couple of picks later, he got a Flower. He got lucky on the replacement - it was 7D.

He had his Straight. And an uncomfortable choice to make. He had to throw one honor, and wait for the other to make his pair. Never a desirable position (but worth an extra point). Based on the floor, it was a coin toss. He threw E, waiting for G for mah-jongg. Noriko threw another E and Wei-Hwa's heart fell. Two uneventful turns. Then Noriko threw G.

He hadn't initially planned a Pure Straight, but it came in that way. 16 points - and one point each for the Mixed Double Chow (789D 789C), One Voided Suit, the flower, and the One-Chance win. 20 points. 28 from Noriko, and eight each from the other two.

Not bad when you consider that he didn't have a solid plan at the outset.

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Copyright 2003 Tom Sloper. All rights reserved.