By Tom Sloper

July 11, 2004

Column #170

Japanese Modern (riichi/dora). Noriko's hand was coming in well, but then two players declared riichi. She tried valiantly to maintain her hand while defending, but events didn't go her way.

East round. Noriko's hand had started well:

It looked very good for a chows hand (fast riichi), so she threw shiro (Wh). After a couple more picks, the hand was shaping up.

Threw 1M. Watanabe threw 5P but Noriko understood the importance of staying concealed. Later, Watanabe threw 5M. Tempting! But no. By the second row of discards, she was getting close.

She'd passed up those chii opportunities so she could go for a quick riichi. But Etsuko declared riichi first. Noriko studied Etsuko's discards.

No manzu (craks) except one terminal. Noriko picked 7P. Judging by Etsuko's 4P, this was safe to throw (the 1-4-7 principle). Then Watanabe also declared riichi. Noriko now studied his discards.

No winds. Lots of manzu and pinzu (craks and dots). Very few sozu (bams). Probably honitsu (clean).

Noriko picked 2P. Not useful, and safe to throw. On his turn, Watanabe threw 6S.

Noriko was tempted yet again. She still wanted to stay concealed. If she got rid of the 1S pair, she could go for tanyao (all simples). But 1S was dangerous - Watanabe-san apparently needed sozu.

She sighed and picked from the wall. Another 7P, still safe to throw. Etsuko won on Watanabe's 1M discard. Cheap: 4900 from Watanabe. And Watanabe had indeed been waiting for 1S (or 4S).

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© 2004 Tom Sloper. All rights reserved.