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By Tom Sloper

January 30. 2005

Column #199

Chinese Official Tournament Rules. Our intrepid C.O. group was well into the evening's play. Waiyee had just sorted her freshly dealt tiles.

Earl and Samantha had already made their discards, and Samantha got impatient with Waiyee's speed of play. "Waiyee." Waiyee looked up. "Play!"

Waiyee, unsure of how she was going to play this mess, reached a little hastily for the wall and knocked over a Wh. Flustered, she righted the tile and took one from the wall. It was 2D. She grabbed N to discard, but was stopped short by Samantha.

"You have to discard bai-ban." Again a quizzical - and quite unhappy - look from Waiyee. "You knocked it over," Samantha continued. "We all saw it, so you need to throw it now."

"What?!" Waiyee asked. It was too early to break up a potentially valuable pair, and she looked upset. Earl came to the rescue. "No, she doesn't."

Samantha was adamant. "That's the way it was done in Hainan. Knock it over, you have to discard it. That's the standard practice in Chinese tournaments."

Earl insisted, "But that's not how it's going to be done in the Netherlands in June. That's what we're practicing for, so we should use the rules that'll be used there."

Now it was Samantha's turn to be flustered. "How do you know what..." Noriko interrupted, "We discussed it last week. The first draft of the European tournament regulations have been posted. Didn't you download them?"

It was evident that Samantha hadn't. Noriko lectured, "We need to take this seriously. We're a team, and if we don't all do our part, we're not going to do well. You want us to win, don't you?"

Earl to the rescue again. "It's not until June. Plenty of time. Tell you what. I'll print out the regulations, and I'll bring copies for everybody next time. Can we just play now?" With that, the others were reminded that the game is, after all, fun.

Waiyee discarded N. Well into the 2nd row, she had a quandary.

Still not entirely sure what hand she should make with this mess, she knew one thing - now she didn't mind getting rid of the Wh pair. Eventually she turned the hand into something reasonable...

But then, of course, the tiles ran out.

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© 2005 Tom Sloper. All rights reserved.