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By Tom Sloper

October 17, 2004

Column #184

Chinese Official Tournament Rules. Earl started with a number of single honors. He decided to target a knitted hand or (an even longer shot) 13 orphans. It didn't work out, but it was fun to watch.

If he was to go for a knitted hand with this, which suits should be allocated to the 147 and 258 and 369 sets, and what should he discard? See answer A, below.

Sonny chowed. Earl's next pick was a second E; he discarded 7C. On her turn, Noriko discarded Wh. Earl realized he wouldn't be calling any discards, unless his picks turned his plan in another direction.

Earl's next pick was a needed 3C. He made a bold move and broke up his 3D pair (which also made a solid unambiguous chow in his hand). Noriko discarded a second Wh, and Earl wanted to snort in disgust (but didn't).

After a couple of throwaway picks, Earl got 8D and threw 1D. After picking 4D, here's where his hand stood (discardables shown in gray):

He threw the 4D back.

Thence followed numerous garbage picks. He traded in S for 3D. When he picked 7B, his hand contained three pairs. Those were not helpful, so he threw the 7B back.

Noriko punged 2B from Waiyee. Earl got more garbage picks. Then Noriko chowed 2B from Waiyee (making Tile Hog).

Earl picked a needed G and threw E. He'd need to pick one more good tile, then he'd be ready for mah-jongg. More garbage picks - he discarded 9C and Sonny chowed it. Earl got more flowers and 2C, which he discarded. Noriko punged it. She and Sonny, the only ones with exposures (other than flowers), were both dangerous:

It was a wall game. Nobody won.

A. It's clear that the 147 set should be in bams (the only two bams he has belong to this set). There are no 2s, 5s, or 8s in his craks so his craks have to be the 369 set. Which leaves 2D towards his 258 set. For starters, he threw 7D, the most disconnected tile.

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