By Tom Sloper

August 24, 2003

Column #117

Chinese Official rules. There's an old Chinese saying that goes, "You cannot carve rotten wood." The wood that Earl got, though, was of very good quality.

He decided there were many possibilities for this deal - pure straight, mixed straight, mixed shifted... The whittling began, fittingly, with the W. Then he started thinking about what tiles he would chow from Noriko.

With his next pick he got a flower, replaced by G. So now he had his pair. He rethought his plan, considering mixed triple. The 8D and 7B both looked kind of lonely - making mixed straight hard to get. In fact, he might even want to go for all simples as well.

But he was thinking too long. He had to discard something. 7B.

Then, forcing him along faster than he would have liked, Noriko discarded 2D. Snap call. "Chow."

Discarded 1D. As things progressed, Waiyee and Noriko made pungs. Earl got a second 8D. He picked another W, and wished he'd kept his first one for Five Types.

Then Noriko discarded 2C. "Chow."

Now Earl definitely wanted to break up the G pair. He'd call 4B and 4C or 7C for mixed straight, all simples, all chows.

Noriko (she of the excellent discards) came through yet again, this time 7C. "Chow."

He threw the last G and was now waiting for 4B. Waiyee made a chow in craks. Earl picked a third W, and really felt dumb as he discarded it.

When he picked and threw 2B, Waiyee slyly observed, "Mm-hmm!" Noriko frowned and tried to figure out what Waiyee meant, but gave up. Too bad she didn't figure it out. She threw the 4B that Earl needed.

Mixed Triple, All Chows, All Simples, Short Straight, Flower. 14 points (22 from Noriko, 8 from the rest).

The Chinese probably have a saying for how Noriko felt, but we've reached our word count limit.

Click the entries in the header frame, above, to read other columns.

Copyright 2003 Tom Sloper. All rights reserved.