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By Tom Sloper

April 3, 2005 (Year of the Rooster)

Column #208

Chinese Official Tournament Rules. Waiyee went for the long shot, but wasn't excited about it. And her lack of excitement was well justified in the end. Her deal and first pick:

With all those honors and terminals (all but one singled), there were two possibilities:

For the knitted hand she already had some each of 1-4-7, 2-5-8, and 3-6-9. And they'd already claimed their suits for her:

She knew that pursuing that hand meant she would have to throw away otherwise good tiles, and forsake all calling opportunities. So it was without much enthusiasm for her prospects that she proceeded with that hand.

She threw 8B and Noriko chowed it (678).

Her next pick was 4D, which went well with her plan. Threw 4C. A couple turns later, she'd picked 9D and discarded it, only to have that too chowed by Noriko (789). This led to speculation that Noriko might be doing a mixed shifted hand.

Waiyee's next throw was a freshly picked 8B, then she got 5C and threw 9B. The hand was truly committed now. A couple turns later, Earl punged her thrown 3C. A little after, Samantha chowed 8B from Earl (678). Waiyee got more junk (including a couple of flowers). Then she picked and threw 6D - it was punged by Earl. Samantha punged G from Earl. Finally, Waiyee picked 7D.

She was a short distance away from her knitted hand. Both 6C and 7C had been thrown previously by Noriko. Waiyee threw 6C. Her next pick was an unwanted 5D - and that was Noriko's winning tile.

Pure Dragon, unique wait, all chows. 19 points (Waiyee paid 27). Earl had been waiting for 2B 5B for all pungs, all simples. Samantha had been waiting for 2D S, with no clear plan for turning it into eight points.

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© 2005 Tom Sloper. All rights reserved.