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“A Christmas Stocking” Delightful

  by Richard Pavlicek

Frank Stewart, Associate Editor of the Contract Bridge Bulletin (monthly publication of the American Contract Bridge League), has written a delightful, unique book. A Christmas Stocking is a collection of six short bridge stories, each centering around the activities at a bridge club during the holiday season. The characters are charming, humorous and often reflective of people you know in real life.

One of the stories, “Millard Pringle’s Christmas,” concerns a regular club player who “in his prime, was probably the worst bridge player to come along since the game was invented.” Today’s deal is a tribute to Millard’s declarer play technique.

4 S South
Both Vul
S 4
H J 4 2
D A K Q 8 7
C A K 7 6


2 D
3 C
4 S

1 S
2 S
3 S
S J 10 9
D J 10 9 6 5 4 3 2
C 9 8
TableS 8 7 6
H K Q 10 8 6 3
C J 10 5 4

Lead: D J
S A K Q 5 3 2
H A 9 7 5
C Q 3 2

Stewart writes: “Millard, South, was allowed to play in four spades… West led the diamond jack and Millard put up the ace, overruffing happily with the queen when East ruffed. Next he went to the club king and tried another high diamond. East ruffed again, and once more Millard overruffed. Still another club to dummy was followed by a third high diamond, with the same inevitable result.

“After overruffing East for the third time, Millard gingerly led a trump at trick six. West won and claimed the rest, drawing trumps. Declarer took five tricks. Five down!

“One of the better players contended warmly that this one surely wins the prize. He’s cold for 13 tricks, assuming he plays low from dummy at trick one and East forgets to ruff. How can you top a loss of eight tricks in stroking the dummy?”

The bright red, hardbound, 64-page book is illustrated by Joellen Watkins and makes an attractive holiday gift for any bridge player. It may be ordered from the author. [Obsolete ordering info removed.]

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© 1985 Richard Pavlicek