The three Old Timers returned to Kodama for tonight’s game. It was essentially a battle between David and Noda for the spoils of victory and in the third game it looked as if Noda was down and out, finishing with an empty tray and owing David 20,000 points. Perhaps it would be a foreigners-only evening after all… But no, Noda recovered with +62 in the fourth game in reply to David’s +58 in the second.
In the fourth game David, unusually for him, was chasing Kokushimusou and was ready to finish but to retain Tempai he had to throw Noda’s finishing tile. In the fifth and final game David was once again Tempai as Last Oya, but needed to declare Riichi and discard a Hatsu (Dora) tile. Reasoning that if it worked he would finish top, and that if it failed he would finish second and in the black, he threw it – and finished second and in the black!
That was the second time that Hatsu had also been the Dora tile in the evening. In the first instance all three players ended up Tempai and waiting for just the Hatsu to finish. There was the prospect that if any one of the players had changed his wait and discarded, both the other players would have gone out. As it was, seeing as no Hatsu were showing, nobody took the risk of being the first to discard it.
Noda -8, +34, -72, +62,+27 = +43
David +24, -14, +58, -19, -8 = +41
Jaime -16, -20, +14, -43, -19 = -84
With this result Noda has got into the black for the first time this year (I believe), so we can say that “Noda is back”!