By Tom Sloper

August 31, 2003

Column #121

Japanese Modern (riichi/dora). Watanabe san's deal told an obvious tale. Tanyao (all simples) - no doubt about it.

Etsuko and Shigeru both discarded 5M. Watanabe could chow it, but if he did, he spoiled his dora possibility (he wouldn't be able to make 678M, and 7M was dora). So he didn't take the bait. Good thing, too. He picked 5S. First throw: N (pei). Next pick: a second 5S. Threw G (aoi). Noriko followed suit.

When Shigeru threw 5P, though, Watanabe took it. "Chii."

Discard: R (chun). Only halfway through the first row of discards, and already he was looking good. On Shigeru's next discard, 3M, Watanabe knew he had to go for it. "Chii."

No question what to discard. He wanted that dora. So he discarded 4M. Risky maneuver, though. He didn't have a pair. Then the door to the Twilight Zone opened up. He picked and threw 5P three times in a row. Then he picked 6M, and had his pair. So much for his dora hopes. Throwing 8M, he was waiting for 4S or 7S.

Having made two exposures already, he couldn't declare riichi. Four uneventful picks and throws ensued. Then Etsuko discarded 7S.

Cheap win - 1 han. Tanyao dake. 700 points from Etsuko.

Quiz #1. What do you discard?

Quiz #2. What do you discard?

Answer #1. Throwing 4M gives you a 5-number run, a very powerful combination. Discard 7S later.

Answer #2. 1M. Go for tanyao (all simples). You'll discard 2M later, use 3M as your pair.

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Some fun links about Japanese-style mah-jongg.

Copyright 2003 Tom Sloper. All rights reserved.