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By Tom Sloper

June 26, 2005 (Year of the Rooster)

Column #220

Chinese Official Tournament Rules. I know it isn't time for yet another Chinese Official column, but I had to post this column a week in advance, and I'm in Holland today (the date of this column - I like to imagine my readers faithfully reading this on June 26th). But I got sidetracked. I was explaining that I'm in Nijmegen today for the Open European Mahjong Championship, and I needed to focus on Chinese Official. I do that through my doppelgängers, Earl, Samantha, Waiyee, and Noriko. Noriko's hand:

Not so great. Lots of the usual chow fodder, but also a complete pung and a pair. There'd be some tough choices ahead, Noriko figured. She'd just have to see what came in. Threw G. Got 5B, threw R. Picked 3B. Broke up the 1B pung. Picked another 3B. Maybe all pairs? (Only had 3 pairs at the moment.)

Threw 5D. Picked, threw S. Picked 2C. Might be best to go for 2 suits, lose the dots, but Mixed Straight was a possibility. Threw 7C. Action on the table:

Picked 8D. Seven Pairs a possibility (got 4 now). Threw 2C, preserving possibilities for Mixed Straight, Pure Straight (bams) and Seven Pairs. Picked, threw 6D - E chowed it (567). Picked, threw 9C. W threw 7D - call it for Mixed Straight?

She decided she preferred to stay concealed. Picked, threw 8C. Picked 6C. Five pairs now. Noriko decided to go for the pairs. Threw 9D.

Picked 3D. Survived the 9D, but dots were hot. By now, E and W were both showing two dot chows - but W definitely wasn't pure (had a craks chow showing as well).

Threw 4B. Picked, threw G, 9D (dang!), 6C, 1B (dang, shoulda gone for pungs), 3C.

Then Samantha won, picking it herself.

Noriko had pegged it right - this one was a real brain twister.

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© 2005 Tom Sloper. All rights reserved.