By Tom Sloper

March 28, 2004

Column #155

American mah-jongg (2003 NMJL card). Some problem hands from the Mah-Jongg Fun Day tournament, March 14, at the Van Nuys Masonic Lodge (see here or visit http://www.geocities.com/jnachenberg.rm/index.html).

Obviously, I was trying to make Like Numbers #2. I was indecisive as to which one should be the pair. I knew it wouldn't be the dots/soap, because another player had a soaps exposure (with a joker). With all my jokers, I figured the dots/soap could be the pungs, and either of the other two could turn into the pairs (then I'd discard the lone dragon of the other suit). What I should have done was redeem the soap. I could have won on G, but it was a wall game. Learn from my mistake!

Another one where I didn't win:

I was planning to make Run #4 - not Like Numbers #2 - because I didn't have any flowers. I was never able to get the 7Cs or 9Ds that I needed. I did eventually pick a flower, and could have called eights. I should have gone that way, had I known. Strategically, I handled it correctly (not that that did me any good).

Another time, I had to pass something I needed.

I deemed it better to pass W or E rather than N or S (since it's the pairs that can kill you). I wound up getting another soap - and the W did come back in the last right. After the courtesy:

I picked and threw a third N. I considered going for the bottom S&P hand (the big one), depending on what I picked. The player to my left soon had exposures and interesting gaps in her concealed tiles:

It looked to me like she was doing 2468 #6, needing 4D and 4C. When I picked J, I threw 4C but she didn't bite. I picked a second J, threw the third Wh, and won 2003 #1 on a discarded S.

Click the entries in the header frame, above, to read other columns.

Copyright 2004 Tom Sloper. All rights reserved.