By Tom Sloper

The 4th of July, 2004

Column #169

Chinese Official Tournament Rules. For this week's column, I had two games to choose from. One was an example of a dumb play in the face of an obvious danger. The other was an example of a well-played hand, keeping some options open from the beginning. I chose to go with the latter. If anyone wants to see the former, just let me know.

It was the south round. Noriko's first pick was 4C.

She evaluated this as being very good for a chow hand - maybe Mixed Shifted. The 8B would not be needed, so that's what she started with.

After a garbage pick, Waiyee threw R, so Noriko followed suit. Samantha chowed 5D from Earl (345). Noriko picked 1B, threw G.

Waiyee threw 1D. Noriko had to make a decision - she didn't think long. "Chur." Discarded 6D.

With the nines, she considered the possibility of doing an Outside hand (no 4s, 5s, or 6s). Her next pick was 9D. Threw it back. Waiyee threw 1C. Noriko pounced. "Chur." Out with the 6D.

A garbage pick. Then Waiyee punged Wh from Samantha. More garbage picks. Then Samantha threw 3B. Noriko cursed the luck - she couldn't chow from Samantha (only from Waiyee). So guess what - Samantha picked and threw 3B. "Chur!"

Mixed triple. Sweet.

It should be obvious what she threw next. It wouldn't be an Outside hand, but now she was waiting.

It was now obvious to everyone what Noriko's hand was. Not that that gave anybody sufficient clues as to what was unsafe to throw, mind you.

Noriko had garbage picks - W, R - and threw them back. She picked 5C. Wanting All Chows, she didn't keep it. She picked and threw 8D.

Samantha chowed 5B from Earl (567). Noriko picked and threw G. Only 24 tiles left in the wall.

Waiyee chowed 4C from Samantha (456) and threw 6C. Noriko called it. "Hu!" She showed her hand and counted it up.

Mixed Triple Chow (8), Pin Hu (2), Short Straight (1), and 2 Flowers. 13 total.

That's the way to play a hand.

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© 2004 Tom Sloper. All rights reserved.