The First 3 Games of the Year

Due to the exigencies of this toilsome life and its importunate and burdensome responsibilities the first three 3-Player Mahjong games of the year have gone, until now, unreported, which is a thing of no moment in and of itself, but which nevertheless does no honour to a weblog such as this [i.e. the one, now defunct, for which this blog was originally written – ed.] that glories in the name of “Mahjong News.”

Herehence let that fault by this report be somewhat mitigated.

Week 1: Friday 6th January – The Three Wise Men & Eri

In tonight’s game Jaime gathered the gold while David’s cash went up in smoke like the sweet odour of frankinscense; sweet but not too sickly for though he lost and he lost all night he lost but little and there was good sport in the losing; there was the expense of playing the game, just as there is for the burning of frankincense. When one burns frankincense one is, as it were, burning money, yet taking delight in so doing. So it is with mahjong, sobeit that one treats one’s purse with reverence as with frankincense and burns but a little over a period.

For Noda, however, his game, after reaching a certain limit of just over three score and ten was one of gathering gloom and it gave off an increasingly bitter perfume and I am sure he would not demur when I add that there was much sorrowing and sighing in evidence from that side of the table. However, his earlier winnings served to embalm him against total decay and there be no cause to doubt that the cause of his fortune shall not estoons revive awhile withal.

For Eri it was a Massacre of the Innocents all over again.

Jaime +83, -16, +21, +47 = +135
Noda 0, +74, -15, -37 = +22
David -29, -8, -6, -10 = -53
Eri -54, -50, –, — = -104


Week 2: Friday 13th January – Kenyon’s Yakitori

I am no prophet, as may be noted by a perusal of tonight’s scoresheet. Noda did not revive after last week’s loss, although he kicked against the pricks for a while.

While David was present he was favoured by the gods in the first game, survived Jaime’s challenge in the second, and paid a small homage to the gods in the third before legging it for the last tram with his winnings.

At that stage in the evening everybody mentioned so far happened to be in the black. We have yet to mention Kenyon who, obviously out of practice after the winter break (despite incessant practice with a little computer mj game that he has on his mobile phone), took over from Eri as the fellow responsible for bringing along the ingredients for a roasting, or in the words of Noda,

“negi mo, kamo mo…”

Kenyon’s first game back at the table saw him go down to the tune of -70 with his “Yakitori” firmly skewered to the table. It so happened that towards the end of this game David won about 25,000 points off Noda with one hand, and then with the very next hand he won a similar amount from Kenyon. Kenyon then provided most of the points for Jaime’s second game but he began to revive in the third, coming second to Noda in Noda’s only strong performance of the evening (the prick-kicking part of his evening).

After David left, however, everything changed. Jaime lost the plot, Noda sank back and Kenyon revived! The tables were turned on the senior players and (I don’t know how, dear reader, for I was not there) Kenyon equalled David in the high-score-in-a-single-game for the evening. He pulled off a remarkable recovery to finish second and had succeeded in pulling the other two players down with him into the red.

A precident may have been set in which three players leave a mahjong parlour at the end of the evening and all of them are losers!!

David +79, +1, -10, –, = +70
Kenyon -70**, -23, +7, +79 = -7
Noda -26, -3, +38, -29 = -20
Jaime +17, +25, -35, -50 = -43


Week 3: Friday 20th January – Jaime’s Kokushimusou

Tonight should probably be given over to a discussion of the Noda revival but for two items.

Firstly, as the title indicates, Noda’s revival was checked when he threw out the 9-Bamboo in the second game and Jaime declared

“Ron – Kokushimusou!”

36,000 points shifted back from Noda’s tray to Jaime’s in a moment and, as the score chart shows, put rather a positive gloss on what would otherwise have been a narrow win for Jaime.

Secondly, Noda’s progress to victory was somewhat drowned out by a cacophany of yelpings and howlings as of a froward puppy that has had its nose severally tweaked and chastened by a prickly stick. Kenyon writhed like Saint Katherine on a wheel of fire as if he were the only fellow to have been Tempai on a fine hand with lots of bonus tiles only for another player (to mex my mitaphors) to pull the rug from under him.

“Dominus dedit Dominus abstulit sit nomen Domini benedictum.”

Or, as Langius said to Lipsius,

“Zephirus with his blast bringeth up some and withereth others.”

Of the three players who played all three games this evening, Noda flared up like Sulphur, Jaime was up and down like Mercury and Kenyon was Salted. David arrived too late for the first game, suffered under Jaime’s quicksilver hand in the second but after imbibing more of the amber nectar he revived in the third game so that he emerged from the fire singed and a little red but not burnt to a cinder.

Kenyon was hoping for a last round revival to mitigate his losses. He was the final Oya but was faced with a dilemma which was:

1. In recent games Kenyon has revived only after David has gone home early on the last tram.
2. Tonight, for David to catch the last tram Kenyon would have to lose swiftly and end the game heavily in the red.
3. But if David went home early, Jaime would go too and so the evening would end early, confirming Kenyon’s losses.
4. Whereas, if Kenyon retained his Oya-ship and began to revive, David would miss his tram and so he would stay for the duration of the evening, which contradicts the first term, which states that for Kenyon to revive, David must go home!

As it turned out, David swiftly put together a cheap hand and declared Riichi with a 2-5-8-Bamboo wait which was swiftly rewarded with a victory that polished off the game in time for him to catch the last tram home again, and so the game broke up with Noda the outstanding winner but with Jaime having done well on the strength of his Kokushimusou and coming in “second-and-in-the-black.”

Noda +1, +6, +74 = +81
Jaime +25, +62, -47 = +40
David –, -37, +19 = -18
Kenyon -26, -31, -46 = -103

David Hurley