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By Tom Sloper (湯姆·斯洛珀)

July 22, The Year Of The Pig
Column #328

Mahjong Competition Rules. Sometimes you're darned if you do and you're darned if you don't. The last day of the OEMC in Copenhagen last month, here's what I was holding (as depicted in my photos at

I picked 8D, and unless I wanted to dog the hand (give up on winning and throw something safe) I could only throw 7D or 8D. I chose 8D, and Jeppe Stig Nielsen of Denmark scored big on it.

Let's say we run the time machine back and I throw 7D instead. Only problem is, Marco Lorenzi of Italy would have won on that:

Found this next one going through my notes. During a practice game at Fata Morgana café in Copenhagen, I was holding:

This presaged the situation in which I found myself a day or two later, the first morning of the OEMC (column 325). The hand could go towards Thirteen Orphans or towards a Knitted & Honors hand. But unlike that game against Tatsuro Tanioka, this time the weight was towards Knitted & Honors. The breaks between the tiles tell the tale. The tiles in the middle work either way. The tiles at left work only for Thirteen Orphans; the tiles at right work only for Knitted & Honors. Four to three. Better to go where the strength is.

And here's a hand I won at Fata Morgana:

Kong (1) of round wind (2), pung of terminals (1), pung of dragons (2), All Types (6), Outside Hand (4). I also had 2 flowers, 18+8=26 from the discarder. In session 6 on Saturday, I made this:

Pure Straight. I had six of the eight flowers, for a total score of 23.

Check out Benjamin Boas' blog, where he describes the strategy he used at OEMC'07: go for the quick hands.


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© 2007 Tom Sloper. All rights reserved.