Sunday, October 15, 2006

Friday 13th October: Change of Season Confirmed by David

An interesting result tonight inasmuch as Jaime came top but what sticks in the mind (several memory-clouding days later) is "the luck of the Noda" (as P. G. Wodehouse might have put it). As in any endeavour in this mortal life of ours, the best player creates his own luck, but sometimes Fortune simply throws an extra favour or two into his lap.

Take for example Noda's declaration of "Riichi" on his first discard as Oya... Jaime, who had to play next, surveyed the scene and observing that nothing was safe and that the Mekuri-pai was East, and furthermore, that he had a second such tile in his hand, he reasoned that, though not safe, it was a safer bet than any other tile - certainly than any suit tile... And so he threw it.

"Ron!"

Noda: Double Riichi, Ippatsu and I forget how many extra Yaku or Dora. David never got to play a single tile.

Then there was the case of Noda declaring Riichi while Jaime was Oya and going out with Suuanko Tanki on the 9-Coins at the very end of a hand.

Then there was the case of Noda once again declaring Riichi. This time it was David who had no safe discard and who, surveying the scene, spotted a 3-Coins lurking with malicious intent in Noda's discard row. The malicious intent was only revealed when David threw the 6-Coins.

"Ron!"

When we contemplate these things, particularly the memory of Jaime handing 24,000 points over to Noda after that Suuanko Tanki, it comes as quite a shock to peruse the scoresheet and observe that it is Jaime who emerged as the clear winner this evening with Noda finishing second and in the black on a modest +22.

When I mentioned all that guff about Fortune throwing her favours into a chap's lap I omitted to mention that a chap can just as easily tip it out again.

It so happens that over the last several months Noda has had Jaime toil away in his behalf to secure a golfing holiday in New Zealand for a greatly discounted price. Now, you may not think that such a difficult task when you consider that any golf club outside of Japan simply doubles or trebles its fees whenever one of the Glorious Sons of Nippon hoves into view, but I can assure you that the negotiations were long and protracted, particularly on this side of the water. I have sat back and observed them on several a Friday evening. However, now that the deal has been done it was time for Jaime to receive his reward, and his reward was free beers for him and me throughout this evening, with Noda matching each of our beers with a glass of that dodgy Japanese alcohol known as shochu. We come to the nub of the gist and if we now peruse the records for this evening we might espy a few noteworthy trends concealed within the statistics.

Item. Observe how Noda's score rises with the first few glasses of shochu. It is common knowledge that Noda's game is fuelled by shochu, but everything reaches a point where it turns into its opposite and that occurred to Noda with his fifth or sixth shochu somewhere in the fourth game. In short, Noda lost the plot and never recovered.

Item. It will be noted that Jaime's game recovered after the third beer.

Item. David's form got less worse the more he drank.

Jaime +29, -31, -37, +47, +24, +34 = +66
Noda +8, +59, +56, -41, -22, -38 = +22
===
David -37, -28, -19, -6, -2, +4 = -88

David Hurley
japanese-mahjong.com
japanese-games-shop.com
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