By Tom Sloper

November 30, 2003

Column #138

Chinese Official rules. Apologies for not posting last week's column last week - I had it mostly written before taking off for Korea, but never polished and posted it before leaving. So that column is up now, and here's this week's entry (a bit longer than the usual length). Chinese Official rules again, because I need all the practice I can get for the upcoming tournament in Hainan.

2C was a lucky first pick for this deal. I got rid of the Wh as my first order of business. North punged it. (Oh - I was South.)

My next pick was 4D. And immediately I had to decide what to throw.

For Mixed Shifted, I'd want my dots to be 345 (not 234), because that made things easier in the bams. So my pair could be either 2D or 7D. Didn't want to throw any of the bams, because everything was a possibility. Decided to throw a 2D.

West chowed it for a 123. Next pick was 5B.

Now I was thinking maybe I ought to go with 345 in bams rather than dots, and discard the 2B, 6B, or 9B. I threw the latter.

My next pick was garbage, but the subsequent one was 4C.

That changed things - now I could go for Mixed Triple instead (234B 234C 234D) - and all simples. So I threw 1C. W chowed it for a 123.

It was looking like we had similar plans. N threw S - and W punged it. This made the 1, 2, and 3 bams extremely dangerous to throw. So what happened? You guessed it. I picked 1B and didn't want it. I didn't want to give the hand up, so I threw it.... West, as feared, took it - but only for a chow, not to win. So W was now waiting to make the pair. Probably a dragon - five kinds.

I assumed it was Red. Two greens were out, and there was a pung of Wh at N's side of the table.

My next pick was 4B - I threw it back. W threw G, confirming my thinking, but then wait! N discarded R - and W didn't win on it! What could W be doing?

I needed 3B, then could throw 8B, waiting for 4B or 7B.

Um, hold on - did I say 4B? I'd just thrown one a moment earlier. My concentration hadn't been there. Probably due to my habit of having the TV on while I work on these columns. Such errors can happen without TV, though...

My next few picks were garbage, then E chowed 4C from N for a 456. I got another garbage pick, then W threw 5C and N won on it. Clean hand, craks and white.

And here I'd been worried about W. Turned out W's single wait was a 3C.

North and I had those. East was ready too - mixed straight, pung of E - waiting for a 3B to make the pair.

That tile was still in the wall.

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Copyright 2003 Tom Sloper. All rights reserved.