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By Tom Sloper (湯姆)

December 25, 2005 (Year of the Rooster)

Column #246

Chinese Official Tournament Rules. Some first-discard exercises, courtesy of the new and improved COMJ program [no longer available] from Nine Dragons Software.

For each of the following, what would your first discard be? My answers in italics below. No picking ahead!

1. A toughie. Not very strong towards All Types. There are three pairs, and all the suit tiles are "connected." My seat is W and S is worthless, so my first throw is S.

2. Chows, possibly Mixed Straight. But be prepared to make Mixed Triple instead. For now, lose any honor.

3. It could be a challenge to make eight points with a two-suit hand. The bams are strong. Keep the honors for the time being, throw 9D.

4. Two pairs, and numerous lone honors. The lone honors bring Knitting to mind - but every suit wants to be 258, and none of them wants to be 147 or 369. Could become a standard Mixed Shifted hand. Best way to preserve maximum options is to discard 2C.

5. Strong indication of a clean or pure (Half Flush or Full Flush) hand. 1D is most expendable.

6. The mah-jongg gods are trying to tell you something - if only you could figure out what it is! Even with that natural pung, the most likely hand will be made of chows. Options worth preserving right off: Pure Straight (bams), Mixed Straight, Mixed Shifted. The 7Bs will probably be reduced to a pair later, so for now lose the extraneous 2B.

7. A strong candidate for Knitting with honors. The 258 will be in craks, the 369 in bams, and the 147 in dots. Your immediately available discards are: 4B, 8B, 5D, 6D. Pick one.

8. Three pairs - possible makings of an All Types hand. Maybe pungs or pairs, but that's never a certainty. A variety of possible and valid discards, including W and 1D at the top of the list.


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© 2005 Tom Sloper. All rights reserved.