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By Tom Sloper (湯姆)

December 11, 2005 (Year of the Rooster)

Column #244

Chinese Official Tournament Rules. Let's do some first-discard exercises. For each of the following deals, what would your first discard be, and why? My answer is in italics at the end - don't peek until you've made up your own mind. To share your thoughts, email . Discussions will be posted at

1. Three pairs. The hand could become pungs or pairs. Or it might not. Best to keep chows possible as well. The way to do that is to discard Wh first.
2. This one clearly wants to become a chows hand. Possibly Pure Straight, Mixed Shifted, or maybe even Mixed Triple. Same answer as before - lose the dragon.
3. The ones and nines suggest Outside Hand, or perhaps All Terminals. The wind and dragon shouldn't be thrown just yet. Throw 5D.
4. Possibly the beginnings of an All Types hand. The weakest tiles are W and 9C. Throw W.
5. Could become both All Types and Knitted Straight. The 258 will have to be in craks. 1D 4D 3C 6C are all expendable. Throw 1D for starters.
6. Two possible directions are Pure Straight (craks) and Mixed Shifted Chows. Throw any honor.
7. Options worth preserving are Outside Hand, Pure Straight, All Pungs, All Pairs. Throw 6D.
8. With exactly nine unique honors & terminals the temptation is to go for Thirteen Orphans, but it'll be rough going. You can't win them all; throw 4C and hope for the best.
9. This looks promising for a chows hand - most likely Mixed Shifted. Throw honors.
10. Lots of possibilities: Mixed Straight, Mixed Shifted Chows, Pure Straight... and with three pairs, maybe even All Pungs or All Pairs. It should be an obvious choice: N.
11. Strongly suggestive of a chows hand, probably Mixed Shifted, possibly Mixed Triple. Lose the winds.


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