Continuing our translations of Puyo’s blog posts, we have part 5 of his series about calling tiles.
In the last article we discussed pon calls, in this article we’ll look at situations involving chii calls.
Aside from increasing speed, calling chii can also improve your hand shape.
Easy to miss chii
First, let’s look at a simple example:
Everyone will know to chii , but don’t forget that can also allow us to chii. We should remember to separate the into and shapes, then we will not miss these chances.
Looking at this as
, we can see that can also be called in a chii.
This one is more easily missed. We can obviously chii , and pon the pairs. But if we have the chance to chii
or , we should definitely do it. and are very poor pon material. Even though toitoi would give us a haneman, we will have a big shape improvement after chii, and leaving ourselves with a mangan is still good.
Legal chii swaps
Swap-calling (kuikae) with chii (for example, use to chii and then discard ) is generally not allowed. But sometimes we can change what exactly we call to allow us to do it legally.
This is already a 3900 point ryanmen tenpai, but if we can chii the , we should definitely do so. If swap-calling is not allowed, then we cannot chii with and discard . However, we can chii with and discard , effectively giving us the same end result.
This hand can definitely wait for a good shape riichi, but if we just need to win any hand (for example we are 1st place in all last), then we can chii a (using and discarding ) for tanyao, or chii for ittsuu. Later, if we get a non-ryanmen tenpai, we won’t need to riichi for our yaku. If it looks dangerous, we can still fold. The freedom is much higher compared to keeping a closed hand.
Pay attention to the hand shape after chii
If there are several ways to chii, we must pay attention to how the hand will look after the chii. For example:
If we can chii , we should definitely do so, but how should we do it? The right way is to chii with , because then we will be left with , and we get or dora we can still accept it into the hand. If we chii with , then we will lose this potential.
For honitsu/chinitsu hands, because there are so many tiles, it is more difficult to find the right chii. In most situations, kanchan chii will be the right choice.
If our left player discards :
chii leaves us with:
chii leaves us with:
Looking at the end result, the kanchan chii reaches tenpai with a better final wait, and has more choice (can choose either to wait on , or )
Lastly, we will introduce a relatively high level chii technique.
In the endgame, you have this yaku-less tenpai:
Here, is a safe tile. Near the end of the game we don’t want to draw a dangerous tile, as this will force us to either make a dangerous discard, or break tenpai. The strongest way to avoid drawing a dangerous tile is to avoid drawing tiles at all, which we can do by calling.
If our left player plays , then we can chii with and play the relatively safe to maintain tenpai. This is quite good for us.
If our left player plays , we cannot ron as we have no yaku, but does this mean that we need to draw a tile?
The correct play is to call chii and then discard the safe .
Next turn, no matter what we draw, we can discard the second as a safe tile and maintain tenpai.
Once you research into the complexity of chii, you can discover more fun situations – it is like an art. There are many more situations like this.
The next article will go through situations where both chii and pon are possible, and how to decide between the two.