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By Tom Sloper (湯姆·斯洛珀)

December 30, 2007, The Year Of The Pig
Column #346

Mahjong Competition Rules. Some hands from the 2007 WMJC in E Mei Shan, Sichuan, China.

1. From Tina Christensen: Don't underestimate the power of concealed chow hands. Always remember: men-tan-pin (Concealed, All Simples, All Chows) is 6 points on discard, 8 on selfdraw, while Fully Concealed + All Chows is 6 points. Remember that, and you only need to find two more points. This is a dream of a hand: you're waiting 1-4-7D on selfdraw and 7D on discard. On 7D (discard) you have men-tan-pin and two times Short Straight, one in each suit. On 1D you have: Fully Concealed, All Chows, 2 Short Straights. On 4D you have: Fully Concealed, All Chows, All Simples, 1 Short Straight.

2. All Chows (2), Short Straight (1), Fully concealed hand (4). Tina adds: Count 1 point for One Voided Suit and say "hu!" ;-)

3. This is a hand looking for a direction. It could turn into Mixed Straight or Mixed Shifted Chows (would need to lose R), or Outside Hand (would need to pung R). Just needed to pick a tile or have someone throw something I could use. I wound up calling 2C, throwing 6C. Now I'd need a 4B and throw 4C to be waiting (1B or 4B).

4. Two possible solutions: 9B gives me Mixed Triple Chow; 5B gives me Mixed Straight. They're equal value, so this is very flexible.

5. Couple ways to go here too. 1B would give me Mixed Straight; if I got 1C and 7C, I'd have Pure Straight. I decided to go for whichever one came quicker, so called 1B, threw 4B, and went for the Mixed Straight.

6. Not very close to Mixed Triple Chow or Mixed Shifted Chows. When I picked 3C, I threw 8C to go for Mixed Straight. My next pick was 2C, threw 3D. Waiting for 7C for Mixed Straight.

7. Only three tiles away from Upper Four. My planned discards are ready at the right.

8. I called 7D, threw 1C. Wait: 2B.


Special thanks to Tina Christensen for her help with this week's column!

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© 2007 Tom Sloper. All rights reserved.