By Tom Sloper

Monday, June 23, 2003

Column #79

Chinese Official (CMCR). Samantha's coach reran the tape for her. "Now the next two hands, you played just fine. It was just luck that somebody else won it. On this one, what were you planning when you threw the six as your first discard?"

Samantha replied, "All Types." Coach nodded. "And you were waiting when East won on a discard."

"Well played. Then the next hand..."

Samantha said, "I was thinking maybe chows or a knitted hand." Coach pointed out, "And you were waiting for Mixed Straight when Noriko picked her winning tile. Again, you played it just fine."

Samantha saw the next hand on the video tape and said, "This one I won. But just barely."

Coach coached, "And you initially targeted...?"

"I wasn't sure. Maybe chows, maybe clean."

"Right," Coach said. "Let's fast forward. Here's where you did something smart. See, you picked two crak."

"And you threw seven bam." Fast forward. "Your next pick was seven dot."

"Look at your fingers. You're counting the points. That only happens when adding small scoring elements, so I know what you were thinking. All Chows, Twins, Simples, Short Straight, Concealed, One-Chance. Nine points. So you threw the nine dot."

Samantha rolled her eyes and said, "It took forever until Earl threw the six crak!" Coach smiled proudly. "But he did."

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Copyright 2003 Tom Sloper. All rights reserved.