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By Tom Sloper

October 9, 2005

Column #235

Chinese Official Tournament Rules. As useful as Mixed Shifted Chows can be, it isn't the only useful target pattern. Three quick examples. Noriko's deal:

Could become All Types, if she gets lucky with the honors. If not, maybe the old stand-by, Mixed Shifted. Almost immediately, Waiyee chowed 234C and discarded 4B. Noriko took it, threw 2B.

A little farther along, she chowed 8C. Her honors were still singles, and their siblings were starting to appear on the discards floor.

All the other Wests went out. Noriko picked 8D, R, and N, getting rid of her own W. She picked 5D, decided it was safer to discard 8D, and punged R.

N went dead so she threw it, hoping for the one last S. Her last pick was 5C. With little hope, she threw it. Second-to-last discard was her needed S. 9 points, and it wasn't an all-chows hand.

Next example - Waiyee's deal:

With just 3 pairs, honors/terms, she could either go for an honors/terms hand in pairs or pungs - or a knitted hand. If she wanted to go for knitted, she'd need to keep 3C 9C 1B 2D 5D. Threw 5C for starters. She picked S, threw 7D, picked W. No longer able to preserve all her options, she had to eliminate one.

She had 11 tiles toward a knitted hand, and couldn't pass it up. Threw 9C. Soon she picked S, now had 4 pairs of honors/terms, which gave her pause. Still holding 11 tiles toward knitted, she decided to stay the course, throwing S. Picked 4B, broke up the N pair, picked 8D, threw R. Ready for 7B or 6C or E (E would be best). Picked 6C. "Hu!" 13 points.

Last quick example. Earl's hand:

He was thinking he'd have to go for a pungs hand or a pairs hand, but realized his tiles were mostly reversible. Threw R. N threw 9D and he pounced on it. Throwing 6D, he was ready for 5D or 6B. He picked his own 6B for an easy 17 points.

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© 2004 Tom Sloper. All rights reserved.