More Kantroversy!

I apologize for the title. I’ve been to New York – Vienna – London – Tokyo… ALL for mahjong in only just over a month. I’m a little exhausted and the puns are even more low hanging than normal.

Anyhows… For those who aren’t as plugged into the mahjong scene, there was an excellent and well-attended online event held by Mahjong Guide and Competitive Riichi Hub. More information here.

I played it (apparently not having had enough mahjong yet) and got all the way to the quarters! Huzzah! Before being knocked out… Boo!

But something crazy happened before I was knocked out. Something unkammon (hmm… that really was labored).

Four kans! One, two, three… four! And mine was the fourth. It was very deliberate so it was pretty exciting.

If you haven’t read my first article on kan, go back and read it. AND read the comments if you haven’t yet. The original kanner very kindly added his opinion and it was very enlightening.

This is how the hand began…

So far, so uneventful. Not an amazing deal, but I’m ahead so I’ll see what I can make of it.

Fast forwarding the boring draws…

So now I’ve collected some pairs and got one triple, I’m obviously thinking a tanyao, maybe a toitoi or I change direction to a seven pairs.

Stuff been happening! My friend on the left has gone for an OPEN kan. Something is UP. I’m suspecting tanyao toitoi. I’ve killed the red dragon dora as soon as West player discards it. The new dora is also looking dangerous.

Ahhh! ANOTHER kan and a riichi straight after, and EVERYTHING is dangerous. These are the games that nightmares are made of.

I survive a (9) discard (I did not want to throw the 1 because it was so close to the riichi discard.) I’ve bought some time and a truly safe tile. However, now I have the 4th 三! I’m not going to call kan for two fairly clear reasons

(1) I can be 1-away by throwing that (5) which is safe. (Remember that a player could win on a promoted open kan and even get an extra one han out of it)

(2) If my player on the left who has already proven himself keen on the  kan does it again, I can risk it and bring the hand to a draw.

(5) is discarded and I’m sitting with my secret weapon!

Player on my left does not disappoint! That player is not going to let himself be pushed off this hand. We’re in South-3, he needs these points, he won’t get another dealership and the North player is very close. He has to push forward with this tempai (ready) hand. This may be his best chance to get first.

Would I have called kan for that (8) when it gives the player in riichi another dora and uradora…? If we’ve decided we have to ignore the riichi and keep pushing, promoting the kan or discarding the (8) both give another player a chance to call a ron win on it. Calling kan does potentially give the riichi player more hand points, but it means you get another draw which may give you the opportunity to win before he gets the chance.

Yes, I would promote this kan.

Lucky for him, he draws an entirely safe tile. What he doesn’t realize is he’s given me the nuclear codes for the hand…

I’m not going to let this go on. If you have been learning your rules, you would know that a fourth kan means we go to an abortive draw. (Ignore the 4 there, I can see that it is four dora and three kan but I also could not be bothered to fix it)

I do what anyone would here and I pull out my trump and promote my kan.

If you’ve never seen this happen, it’s worth knowing that you do get another draw and you have to discard it before the abortive draw is called so have a plan. I throw the West tile to bring us to this screen…

A fairly rare occasion so one worth recording.

The tournament was tough… Those players knew what they were doing. It was a real joy to play against such strong players. The East and the West player here went through and they’ll be battling it out on the 16th December for the top spot. Watch the various streams that will be happening!