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By Tom Sloper

October 3, 2004

Column #182

Japanese Modern (riichi/dora). Etsuko's deal:

There's one obvious first discard. What is it? (See answer #1 below.) Next, she picked 2S and threw it back. Noriko threw 7S. Should Etsuko take it? (See answer #2 below.) Her next turn she picked 3P and threw the other terminal. Now her hand had nothing but simples.

Noriko's next discard was 1P - Etsuko didn't call it. She picked and discarded R. Watanabe threw 4M (dora). Shigeru punged E from Noriko. Watanabe threw 5P. Should Etsuko pung it? (See answer #3 below.) Watanabe declared riichi with 4S. Etsuko's next pick was 4M (dora). Here are Watanabe's visible discards:

And here are Etsuko's tiles:

What should she discard now? (See answer #4 below.) Watanabe threw 6M. "Ron!" It was a fairly cheap 2-fan hand. Tanyao, dora ichi. 2900 plus the riichi chip (3900 from Watanabe only).

Etsuko kept the deal. Her next hand:

What should she do with this? (See answer #5, below.) Subsequently, she picked 8S, discarded S, then got W (now she had two). What should she discard? (See answer #6.)

1. 9S. It's a sore thumb - completely disconnected.
2. It seems a little early, to go chowing on the 2nd go-round. But the hand is strong. Go for it. Discard 9M or 9P (
3. Sure. Discard 8P, and you have a one-way call for 6M. You can always change the call depending on what you pick (you might even get
dora, who knows).
4. Throwing 7M both gives you a two-way call and is probably safe (based on the 1-4-7 principle).
5. She'll need a
riichi hand with all that junk. Throw any wind.
6. 1M, 4M are the sore thumbs. Off to a good start! And I'm out of space. See you next week!

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© 2004 Tom Sloper. All rights reserved.