By Tom Sloper

November 16, 2003

Column #136

Chinese Official rules. Time to do a column about Chinese Official again. I need to get warmed up for the 2003 World China Mah Jong Tournament in Hainan, China in December! (See Martin Rep's Mah Jong NEWS website.) It wasn't easy arranging a flight to Hainan either, let me tell you (no thanks to United Airlines, whose treatment of their frequent fliers could stand some improvement). Anyway, here's what I was dealt (I was in the North seat)...

It isn't unusual to begin without a hard and fast plan. To me, this looked likely for either Clean with dots, or All Types (Five Kinds). Threw 3C for starters.

My next few picks were all bams, but I didn't see the pattern until I'd tossed several of them back. What was done was done, so I stayed the course, and didn't pung 7B when West threw it. I threw another (7789 not being a good combination) on a subsequent turn.

I then got a flower, replaced by W.

Boldly, I decided to just kill my bams chow. Working it inside-out, I discarded 7B.

Then the table started getting dangerous. East made a couple of pungs, and I got a crak and a dot. I continued to discard my bams. West threw 6D and I wanted to take it, but I didn't want to act rashly. I picked and got 1D, which was much better anyway. My next pick was F, replaced by 9D.

There were 3 Ns out, so I threw mine. South punged S from East, then I picked 7D. I had to choose a discard, and had to choose between E, W, and G. There were one each of the E and G on the floor - I threw E. I resolved to pung 7D, 9D, or Wh should the opportunity arise. Then I picked 7D. I threw the G now. Then on West's turn, he threw 6d. "Chow!"

Throwing W, I was waiting for either 9D or Wh. West threw my Wh, and that was it.

Clean AKA Half Flush (6), dragon pung (2), the 123456 Short Straight (1), two flowers (2). Total 11 (19 from West, 8 from the others).

Now if I can just do that consistently at the tournament in Hainan, I'll be happy.

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Copyright 2003 Tom Sloper. All rights reserved.