Friday 27th April: “At Least You Don’t Have the Red Ones…”

Tonight’s was another active session which saw Jaime plunge into the red, David consolidate his position at the top and Kenyon and Noda make further upward progress towards zero.

There were also two Chombo mishaps, two failures to win a single hand in a game, one quotation that shall live in the annals of mahjong history, and one case of Daisangen.

The session played itself out quite differently for the three players who ended the evening above the bar. David made the early evening running and managed to respond to Noda’s mid-evening charge with enough good results to retain the top spot.

Conversly, Noda began badly with his Yakitori tessera stuck on the table throughout the whole of the first game and much of the second too. However, once he had one a hand he took over the running for much of the middle period of the evening.

Kenyon, on the other hand, ploughed a furrow of his own, avoiding the red in the first two games, losing just a little in the third and winning the fourth to finish “second and in the black”.

According to the 2007 MJ hypothesis, Jaime’s performance at the table virtually guaranteed that Manchester United would win the Premiership, and as I write this today (Monday 7th May) that prognosis has been confirmed.

At the other end of the table, David’s solid result ensured Leeds United’s relegation into Division One.

In the second game David declared Riichi on a nice three tile Bamboo wait while Jaime was expatiating upon the latest tv game gizmo “Wii”** which has recently been installed in his flat. David drew a Bamboo tile and declared Ippatsu Tsumo only to take a second look at the tile to notice that it was not one of the three he’d been waiting for…

In the third game David had opened his hand with two Pon declarations on the White and Green Dragons. Noda and Kenyon had each thrown out a Red Dragon and David was Tenpai and waiting for the 7-Coin Dora tile when he picked up the third Red Dragon. Throwing the Dora improved his hand to Honitsu Shosangen Tenpai but with just one tile available to finish on… at which point Kenyon drew the last Red Dragon from the wall, surveyed the situation, and seeing two Red Dragons had been discarded he declared,

“At least you don’t have the red ones”,
and threw the Red Dragon. David promptly turned over his tiles to reveal the extent to which Kenyon’s hypothesis had (to quote Jaime) “gone haywire”.

In the next hand Noda promptly took many more points of David by claiming the Red Dragon for a Daisangen hand which ensured that Noda would finish in the black that evening!

Jaime also picked up a Chombo when he went Riichi on the wrong tile in the same game and then got stuck with his Yakitori.

Kenyon won the fourth game, but only just. Actually, he and Noda finished on equal points, but it was seat position that won it for Kenyon! And the extra points for coming top in that game put him and not Noda into second place!

David +72, -2, +8,* -34 = +44
Kenyon +18, +4, -8, +25 = +39
Noda -53,** +30, +32, +4 = +13
Jaime -37, -32, -32,*** +5 = -96

** A few days later a few of us spent the afternoon at Jaime’s. David got lost riding the beer-wine-whisky elevator but has vague memories of shouting at a ghostlike figure on the We screen while trying to send a virtual bowling ball down a virtual alley without crashing into the all too solid screen… My impression is that Jaime has spent far too much time in front of that screen honing his skills by going through the motions of bowling and batting in the middle of his front room. The game should be called Weiird, not Wii…

David Hurley