I was reading a magazine in the club lounge when a penny-game kibitzer came in, shaking his head.
“Grapefruit’s in rare form,” he said. “He just announced that his partner needs a speed bump between his brain and his mouth.”
Grapefruit, our member with a mood like an untipped waiter, badgers his partners relentlessly. He was today’s East. When South passed North’s raise to two spades, West balanced with a second double, then competed to four diamonds. South succumbed and bid four spades when he had been willing to stop at two!
West led the king of clubs: six, deuce, four. He shifted to the queen of diamonds, and South took the ace, drew trumps with the king and ace, ruffed dummy’s last diamond and led the jack of clubs. West took his ace … and cashed the ace of hearts. South won the next heart, got to dummy with the nine of trumps and threw two hearts on the Q-10 of clubs. Making four, and Grapefruit went wild.
“Partner, you’re about as smart as a bucket of bait. You push them into game, then let them make it.”
“I had to try for heart tricks,” West protested. “Dummy had two good clubs for discards.”
“I don’t have the time or the crayons to explain it to you,” Grapefruit sneered.
West must remember to count. South has six trump tricks, a diamond and two clubs. He can’t win 10 tricks without a heart trick, so West need not panic and break the hearts. If West exits with a third club when he takes the ace, South loses two hearts.
Neither side vulnerable
S A 9 6
H 10 7 4 3
D 6 5
C Q 10 7 6
S J 5
H A J 5
D Q J 9 8 7
C A K 8
S 8 4
H Q 6
D K 10 4 3 2
C 9 5 3 2
S K Q 10 7 3 2
H K 9 8 2
C J 4
South West North East
1 S Dbl 2 S Pass
Pass Dbl Pass 3 D
3 S 4 D Pass Pass
4 S(!) All Pass
Opening lead — C K
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Source:: The Mercury News – Entertainment
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