By Tom Sloper

August 31, 2003

Column #120

Chinese Official rules. Today's hand is a nice example of making a plan and sticking with it. Noriko got a pair of her own wind, and stuff from the other tile types. She immediately decided to go for Five Types.

Her first pick was a second 1C. She discarded W and planned to call N, 1C, or 7B, if discarded. Her first exposure was N, courtesy of Waiyee. Noriko discarded 2B. Two turns later, she picked two flowers and the fourth N. That was followed by a second 4C; she discarded 5C. Her next exposure was 4C, again from Waiyee.

Now Noriko had a quandary. For Five Types, she'd need to throw the 1Cs and get more Rs. She couldn't use all three dots anyway, so threw 3D. She then punged 7B from Samantha, and the quandary was back for more. She decided Five Types was still her best bet, so she threw the first of her two 1Cs.

Her next exposure was ironic. She had to chow on 3D, a tile she'd discarded herself earlier. It went against the grain to do this, since she also plays Japanese style, where it's against the rules.

With a look of trepidation, Noriko discarded 1C. All the other players could see that dragons were dangerous. Three Whites had already been discarded, as well as Two Gs and one R. Noriko could, then, only use G or R. Noriko figured it unlikely that anybody would throw her tile - she'd have to pick it. There were amused snickers all around when she picked and threw the case White. Then Earl picked and groaned. He agonized, sighed, and threw Red, putting his other hand over his eyes. "Wu!"

Earl showed why he'd done it. He'd had a waiting Seven Pairs hand - with a lone G.

Wanting to stay in the running, he'd had no choice but to throw G or R. Just an unlucky coin toss. Noriko's hand: Five Types, Fully Exposed, Kong of Own Wind, and five flowers. Twenty points.

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Copyright 2003 Tom Sloper. All rights reserved.