I guess it’s about time to write some stories. My office chair, though while comfortable for occassionally lurking on BBO, has been exchanged for more and more frequent live action with real cards and real opponents. My latest exploits took place in Groningen and St. Malo (published some deals on Bridgewinners here and here), but the following cute deal took place early June in Paris, at a club near the Champs-Élysées. I was playing with Antony.
West starts with the King of and this is what I see:
I have 8 tricks and can try to find #9 in either or . I duck the lead and take the Queen continuation with my Ace. It seems like 4 rounds of won’t hurt and perhaps I can extract some information from my RHO. On the 3rd she has her first pitch, the 5. On the 4th the 2 leaves her hand. Observing the expressive huffing and puffing over finding two discards I cautiously assume she must hold everything vital.
This is the position now:
I cash the King and Ace, West surrendering her Queen. Here, take the , I say by asking for a “pique” from dummy. RHO takes her three tricks and then has to lead away from the King. I take 9. A flurry of unintelligible French crosses the table. Antony doesn’t even attempt to translate for me, just offering a slight smile.
This is the full deal:
You can say I’ve acquired a bit of rust during the pandemic. My bridge muscles are not as supple or strong as they used to be. Post-mortem it shows just three rounds of is enough, maintaining an entry to dummy, before placing West with a . Either I come home with 3 tricks in and 1 in , or 2 tricks in both red suits. I could have avoided potentially embarrassing tomfoolery where West had bared her King, for example.