By Tom Sloper

Monday, June 16, 2003

Column #72

Chinese Official (CMCR). The official rules permit the player to claim points for all the scoring elements in the hand. But sometimes disagreements can arise as to the combining of scoring elements. Consider Samantha's hand.

For starters, she took the traditional "shoot for chows and discard honors" opening. Keeping S (of course), she threw a dragon at random: G. Wei-Hwa punged it. Noriko discarded the fourth one right afterwards. Just as well, then!

In short order, Samantha picked 3C, 2D, and 6D, divesting the hand of further honors. Things were getting very interesting now.

She threw 7C, and picked another on the next turn - threw that one away too. Souths were going out, so when she picked 5C, she finally threw hers away. With that, she was ready, with two ways to complete the hand. But only one will give her the minimum score. Which is it? (See answer at bottom.)

Three turns later, Noriko threw 4B. "Woo!" Samantha scored her hand as follows:

She arranged the tiles to show how she claimed Mixed Shifted Chows two ways:

Earl objected strenuously. Wei-Hwa supported Samantha's argument. Noriko was on Earl's side (two to two). For the sake of harmony, Samantha agreed that she would accept 12 points.

Answer. 1B or 4B will complete her hand. With 4B she'll have Mixed Shifted Chows, All Chows, Concealed, Short Straight. But with 1B, she doesn't have Mixed Shifted, meaning the hand only adds up to five points. 1B doesn't hack it. She needs 4B only.

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Copyright 2003 Tom Sloper. All rights reserved.