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By Tom Sloper (湯姆)

May 28, The Year Of The Dog
Column #268

Chinese Official Tournament Rules. The group had taken a food break, and the 2007 tournament season came up in the conversation.

Earl said, "I'm going to Denmark. Those Chinese players are way too tough! Anybody plan to go to both, Denmark and Beijing?"

Waiyee piped up, "I can't afford two international trips. I'm going to Beijing. I want to meet the top people. Besides, I want to eat some authentic Chinese food."

Noriko said, "I'm saving my money so I can go to both. This year for my vacation I'll just stay home. I love Europe, and no way am I missing the World."

Samantha kind of mumbled, "I don't know. It's so expensive, and all those players are so competitive."

The others encouraged Samantha to go to at least one of them, and told her she's a very good player. Back at the table, that topic went by the wayside as Noriko posed a scoring problem. "This one came up on the newsgroup recently," she said.

"How would you score this?"

Samantha, not unhappy to change the subject, spoke up first. "All Pungs, Three Concealed Pungs, Two Concealed Kongs... is the player East? Is it the East round?"

Waiyee said, "Let's assume not. It's just Pung of Terminals or Honors - 1 point."

Noriko said, "But are you sure you can claim both Three Concealed Pungs and Two Concealed Kongs? That's the real question here."

Samantha: "Well, two of the pungs are kongs. That isn't implied or inevitable. Three Concealed Pungs doesn't imply two kongs, but if two of the three concealed pungs are kongs, it's implied that they are concealed."

Waiyee: "But 'concealed' alone isn't a score element, except when applied to a whole hand."

Noriko: "So, All Pungs is six, Three Concealed Pungs is 16, Pung of Terminals or Honors is 1. That's 23. Now it's just a question of whether to add Two Kongs, four, or Two Concealed Kongs, six. It's either 27 or 29."

Noriko looked at Earl, who'd been silent until now. "If an opponent was claiming 29," he said, "I'd argue that it should be 27. But if it was me, I'd claim 29."

Waiyee: "And you'd fight tooth and nail for those 29 points, too!"

Earl smiled: "You know me too well."

They all reached in and turned the tiles over to start the next game.


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© 2006 Tom Sloper. All rights reserved.