By Tom Sloper

Saturday, June 28, 2003

Column #84

Chinese Classical (One Double, no flowers). I call today's column "Anatomy of a Wall Game." Two players had arrived at the waiting state, but not as I'd initially expected them to. A third player had played poorly, and the fourth was just unlucky. First, take a look at the players' hands, around the middle of the wall...

Esteban had no exposures. He had discarded bams and craks, and was targeting a clean hand. But he had too many orphan honors.

Soleil had two exposures and was zeroing in on a two-way call. All she had to do was pung a green, then she'd have her double, and she'd be trouble (from the point of view of the other players).

Wendell had two exposures and was that close to having a one-way call (3D). All he had to do was pung East and throw away a green. Which would make things interesting for Soleil.

Noreen had no exposures up. If she could pick 6B or 7D, she could throw 6B or 9B and she'd be waiting for a concealed hand. Now consider what their hands looked like by the end of the hand...

Esteban had punged 4D and picked an E, but was still a fair distance away from mah-jongg. Lady Luck, it seems, was away when Esteban rang.

Soleil had acquired G (from Wendell) and was waiting two ways, but not as expected. I would have kept 6789D, waiting for six or nine, but that's just me. On the other hand, CC awards points for pungs, so there seems to be strategic method to her madness.

Wendell was also now waiting. Rather than 3D, he's now waiting for 2D. He may have suspected that someone else had a pair of E, but he had hopes.

Noreen, inexplicably, had chowed 8B from Wendell. Guess she got excited by an unexpected opportunity. She should have stayed concealed, and she should not have thrown 2B. As the last throw, Noreen discarded 2D. Wendell couldn't take it since without the E pung, he didn't have the needed double.

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Copyright 2003 Tom Sloper. All rights reserved.