In what turned out to be the last game of the year for the Hiroshima Cock’s-Eye Mahjong Club, Noda, the champion, gave a little back to the market. But even with David making the early running and getting up to +80 at the peak of it, there was no real chance of a dramatic turnaround.
Instead, David’s +80 merely insulated him from the inevitable mid-evening “Jaime revival” that has become as common a feature to the game as Kenyon’s tendency (when he is able to play) to win the final game.
Another factor that favoured Jaimes fortune was the propitious change of seats after the second game. Jaime had been sat in the far corner seat for the duration of his -30 and -31 opening games. The roll of the dice and the shuffle of the tiles indicated that everybody had to move round but preserve the same order, so Noda moved into Jaime’s corner seat, and David moved into Noda’s seat and Jaime moved across to occupy David’s seat.
The change in fortune was immediate. Each seat remained faithful to its earlier performance, which caused Jaime to turn a -61 deficit into a +15 credit in a single game, while David sank a bit and Noda, in the “unlucky seat” sank some more.
Noda had to use all his cunning in the fourth and final game to cut his losses, but as his final score of +28 was evenly shared by the two British players, Noda was the only player to end the night in the red!
David +33, +47, -30, -14 = +36
Jaime -30, -31, +76, -14 = +1
Noda -3, -16, -46, +28 = -37