By Tom Sloper

Leap Year Day, 2004

Column #151

Chinese Official rules. This is the story of a hand that was hard-fought between Earl (East) and Waiyee (West). Watching over Earl's shoulder:

Earl took the obvious route: wanted to go for a chows hand with this. Discarded G. His next pick was 3C, discarding R. Then Waiyee made the first of her exposures, taking 4C for a 234 chow.

Earl got another R and threw it back, then picked 8D. He threw 9C and earmarked 3B for discarding.

Earl's next pick was junk, then Waiyee chowed 5B for 456. Looked like she might be making a Mixed Shifted hand.

Earl got two more garbage picks, then got 4D. Now E threw that earmarked 3B and was waiting for a hand.

How Earl would go depended on what he'd pick. If he got 2B or 2C, for instance, then he'd throw 4B and be set for Mixed Triple Chow. Noriko's next discard was 5C and Earl took it.

This looks like a mah-jongg hand, but it isn't 8 points. So Earl threw 2D, waiting for 5D for mah-jongg. One had been discarded (it was Noriko's 2nd throw, when Earl didn't yet have a plan). 5D looked possible to get.

Earl got two garbage tiles. Then Waiyee chowed 4D. Clearly she had Mixed Shifted. All discards were now dangerous.

Earl picked and threw twice, without Waiyee winning on them. Then she picked her own tile. She'd been holding two pairs (6D and 8C) and had picked 6D. 10 points (18 from each player).

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Copyright 2004 Tom Sloper. All rights reserved.