Friday 27 February 2015

Conquering the Mountain in Kathmandu: A Mahjong Sojourn

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KATHMANDU Nepal, February 21st - When I first arrived in Kathmandu, the airport arrivals curb was busy and alive! The locals, noting a foreigner had arrived in their midst, surrounded me asking me all manner of questions as to the nature of my stay. Was I there to climb Mount Everest? Was I in need of a Sherpa guide? Did I have a ride to base camp at the foot of the mountain? Looking around at my fellow passangers, and the gear they were collecting from the terminal, there among them were backpack frames, ropes, cleated boots, and all manner of climbing paraphinalia. There was no doubt Kathmandu was the launching basin for brave expeditions to climb up the face of the tallest and most formidible mountain in the world. But I was in Kathmandu to conquer a mountain of a different sort; a mountan of tiles—Mahjong.

Scott D. Miller, MD of Mahjong News travels to Nepal to talk mahjong, learn new styles, and build new bonds in the basin city of Kathmandu, nestled in the shadows of the tallest mountain in the world.

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Mrs. Hudson’s Record

This week's Sherlock Holmes Mystery is about Mrs. Hudson's Record.

Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson were away from Baker Street 221 B for almost a month. They were involved into trapping some big criminals.
Meanwhile, Mrs. Hudson went to her first MCR tournament. One hand she won had tremendous success - not in terms points though in structure.
Dr. Watson bought the newspaper “Mahjong News” and began to read:
“Mrs. Hudson, MCR tournament debutant, has managed to collect a 16-point hand consisting only of 1-point fans! … Sherlock!” – he asked Mr. Holmes – “Is it really possible?”
“Watson, It’s rather elementary!” – answered Holmes and began to draw the hand.
Question: Please, re-construct Mrs. Hudson’s hand.
Comment: The problem is rather tough to solve. There are two conceptual solutions.

Comments (3)Comments are closed
1Saturday, 21 May 2011 23:23
Edwin Phua
One possible solution:

Mrs. Hudson's hand meets the minimum requirement of 8 points with:
a) 3 chows combining for 2 1-point fans (e.g. 2 Mixed Double Chows; Mixed Double Chow and Pure Double Chow; Pure Double Chow and Short Straight etc.);

b) 1 Melded Kong of a Terminal (i.e. 1 or 9), giving 2 points;

c) hand contains only 2 Suits (i.e. One Voided Suit) and No Honours, giving 2 points;

d) and she self-drew on a unique wait (i.e. Single Wait, Closed Wait, or Edge Wait), giving 2 points.

Additionally, Mrs. Hudson managed to get all 8 bonus tiles, so her hand is worth 16 points in total.
2Sunday, 22 May 2011 13:49
Quentin
The other possible solution is a hand close to the former one:
Hand: (123, 456, 999)b 4d, melded Kan of 1d, 4d self drawn.

The number of points is the same, 1 Chow fan is replaced by a Terminal Pung.

Add 8 flowers and it is a Hand with 16 1-point fans !
3Sunday, 22 May 2011 20:08
Vitaly Novikov
Congratulations, both Edwin Phua and Quentin!
You have provided two available conceptual solutions.
Very quick and very correct :).
As an author I am a bit disappointed because it was considered this problem to be tough to crack down :(.
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