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By Tom Sloper

October 2, 2005 (Year of the Rooster)

Column #234

American mah-jongg (2005 NMJL card). After this week's column, the column will focus on Chinese Official rules for the remainder of October because your friendly author is mentally preparing for the Third China Majiang Championship and Forum in Beijing, Oct. 28-31. The column will return to discussing American mah-jongg every other week on Nov. 6.

Esther's deal:

Thinking odd #s or consec. runs, Esther played the Charleston as follows:

Pass Passed Received Note
1st Right N G 2D 4C 5B R
1st Across 4C 1B Wh 3B 9B 1D 1
1st Left 4D 8D R 5C 9C G
2nd Left 1C 9D G 1B 4D 8D 2
2nd Across 4D 8D 9C 4D 4D Wh
Last Right 4D 4D Wh 4C 5C 2B 3
Courtesy 4C 2B 1C 4C

1. At this point, Esther regretted passing the 1B. The hand is clearly going odd.
2. Now she was thinking 13579 #6. And lo and behold, the errant 1B hath returneth.
3. When she got the 5C, she wished she hadn't given up the Wh - could've gone for 13579 #5.

At this point, she was fairly well positioned for two 13579 hands.

The hand was a little closer to 13579 #6 than to 13579 #1. She began the festivities by discarding 1C. By the time she got rid of her last junk tile, she picked a joker. Then she got 5B. Quandary!!

She no longer had any obvious discarders. Which way should she go?

She was closer to #1 but she'd have to fill two pairs to make that one, which balanced the one-tile advantage. A classic quandary. She decided her jokers indicated she should go for #1. Long story short, she picked jokers but never filled any pairs. She wouldn't have made the other hand, either.


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© 2005 Tom Sloper. All rights reserved.