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By Tom Sloper (湯姆·斯洛珀)

October 14, The Year Of The Pig
Column #339

Mahjong Competition Rules. The World Mahjong Championship is in three weeks. Time to cram. For each of the following randomly dealt hands, which way would you go, and what would you discard?

1. I don't mind two or even three honors, but four? It's not enough to go for Knitted or Orphans, and too many for a regular (chows) hand. The only thing this hand has a lot of is reversibles. It might possibly make a Mixed Straight, so the only things I'd want to throw this early would be E or 9C.

2. Good for Pure Straight or something in mixed chows, or even Pure Shifted. No-brainer - throw Wh.

3. Could make a Mixed Triple or a Mixed Shifted with this, but there's a lot of junk. And the junk isn't good for a Knitted hand, either. So all the honors can go. Take your pick. Or was that an unfortunate use of the phrase?

4. Not too bad for a Mixed Shifted hand, so again it's just a matter of getting rid of the unwanted honors and waiting to see what comes in, what gets discarded. See how the wind blows, as it were.

5. Don't let the two pairs throw you, but I wouldn't want to be too quick to break either one up, either. The Wh should probably be the first thing to go. On the other hand, there are eight reversibles. Maybe breaking up one of the pairs is the way to go after all. Of course, the next tile to be picked will be something that makes a chow with the remaining pair.

6. This one's a mess. Gonna have to be lucky, but it might make Mixed Shifted. Let the winds blow away.

7. Three pairs, and a heck of a lot of bams. I'd start with 1C, so as to preserve pairs for now at least, and also to preserve the possibility of Half Flush.

8. I like all those suit tiles and I don't like any of those winds. Sorry if I sound like a broken record, but that is the way it usually goes.


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© 2007 Tom Sloper. All rights reserved.