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By Tom Sloper (湯姆)

October 8, The Year Of The Dog
Column #287

Chinese Official Tournament Rules. It's a game of both strategy and luck. Noriko's deal (East round):

Some possibilities: All Types, Reversible. Why do I say these are possibilities? All Types first: There are some of each type, and four of the five types already have a good head start. Dragons will be the challenge. There are 9 tiles (and two backup bams) towards this fan. Reversible: All your dots and bams are reversible. You have 7 tiles towards this fan. These two possibilities shouldn't rule out a standard chows hand, with all simples. You have 8 tiles toward this possibility. What would you throw first? What Noriko did is given in answer #1 below. Waiyee threw N and Noriko picked W, throwing it back. Samantha threw another N. Noriko picked 4C and threw her N (it now being a lost cause for sure). Noriko picked 9D.

What would you throw now? See what Noriko did in answer #2. Next pick: 7B. Now Noriko had five pairs. She could go for Seven Pairs, All Types. That left her only 2B 4D 6D to choose from, and she chose 2B. Picked 8D, threw it back. Picked Wh.

What would you throw now? See answer #3. Earl claimed Noriko's discard and threw Wh. On Noriko's next turn she picked a second Wh. Only two expendables now: R and 6D. Both were raw, and it was early in the game. Earl and Samantha were showing one chow each, and Waiyee was showing two. What would you do? See answer #4.

1. Noriko could throw 9C or N without spoiling any of her possibilities. Because N is her wind, she chose not to discard that just yet. 9C.

2. Noriko saw that she had four pairs now, and seriously decided to go for pairs or pungs. Reversible is no longer in the picture, and so is a chows hand. All Types is still feasible, though. She threw 2C.

3. Noriko couldn't decide between the dragons, and none had yet been discarded. She broke up the 4-6 split. 4D.

4. Whichever tile she threw, the other would be her waiting tile. Noriko considered defense and offense. Defense first. Because the others were chowing, 6D is more dangerous to throw. Offense: R may be more likely for someone else to discard, since they appeared to be making chow hands. Only because it was early, she threw 6D to wait for R. E only chowed it, and then Noriko picked her own R.


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