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By Tom Sloper (湯姆·斯洛珀)

September 9, The Year Of The Pig
Column #335

Mahjong Competition Rules. This column was written while I was practicing for the Mahjong-Time online tournament that's happening this weekend (the Online European Mahjong Championship). Play along with me. My deal:

I assume you'd do what I did - throw N. Right after, the player at my left threw 6B. Would you take it? What hand would you target, and what are your other options if your first plan doesn't come in? If you do take the 6, would it be to make 456? Or 567? And what would you discard? To see what I did, see #1 below.

My next pick was 8D. What would you discard? I threw 5C. Next pick was 7D.

I hate not having a pair, but the 8Ds are a sore thumb now. Still got the same two options, but when something comes in, I'm going to have a hard decision - and no pair. Out went the 8D, then I picked a bunch of junk, followed by 8B. Now it's decision time. What are my choices, and what would you do? See #2 below.

At first blush, this deal seems to hold a lot of promise. But actually, what can be made from this? My thought process, #3 below.

A few turns later, I had:

At this point, the chances were equal for All Types or All Pungs (or Seven Pairs). What would you discard? #4, below.

1. I took it for 456, going for pure straight as plan A, with mixed triple chow (789) as backup. For the discard, I chose between 5C and 6C - threw 6D.

2. I could throw either 1B or 3B, and wait for the other's mate. I checked the discards to see which was safer. Both were raw. General rule: terminals are usually safer. And it worked. Mixed Triple Chow, Short Straight, All Chows, Single Wait. Oh, and 1 flower. 13 points.

3. I could go for all types, or knitted and honors. Counting the possibilities, I had 9 tiles that could go towards All Types, 8 tiles that could make a Knitted/Honors hand, or 6 tiles that could make Pungs or Pairs. Going for All Types looked better to me, so I threw a solitary wind.

4. I threw 8B, but it didn't matter. Someone else won the hand. I'd taken the wrong turn, and had taken too much time in the process.


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© 2007 Tom Sloper. All rights reserved.