Main     Almost Bridge 7F41 by Richard Pavlicek    

Here I Come To Make the Play!

South’s bidding on this deal may seem brash, but it’s surely sensible. Once North opens the bidding and raises hearts, the total point count must be in the slam range. South is not worried about a lack of controls or aces, so why waste time? Jumping directly to the slam is the practical choice.

6 H by South

Both Vul
S A K Q
H Q J 10 9
D J 9 7
C J 10 8
S J 10 9 8 7 6
H 8 7 4 3
D 4
C 6 5
TableS 5 3 2
H 2
D Q 10 8 6 5
C K Q 9 7
Lead: S JS 4
H A K 6 5
D A K 3 2
C A 4 3 2

West

Pass
All Pass
North
1 C
2 H
East
Pass
Pass
South
1 H
6 H

Alas; too bad. The wasted strength in spades and the foul layout of the minor suits makes the slam impossible to make. Even the best experts would go down at least one.

But look! Across the room! Faster than a speeding declarer! More powerful than a strong two-bid! Able to leap tall bridge clubs in a single bound! Yes, it’s Master Mouse — with abilities far beyond those of mortal man. “Impossible contracts” for others are merely exercises for Master Mouse.

Dummy’s spade holding would be a pretty sight to most players, but to Master Mouse it was cheese. “Big cards are for mortals!” he explained as he contemplated his play. “Kings and aces have pretty faces; but in order to squeeze you need cheese.” As soon as he won the S Q, he drew everyone’s attention with his famous call:

“Here I Come To Make the Play!”

At trick two, Master Mouse led the S A and ruffed it with the H A. Crossing to dummy with a low trump, he next led the S K and ruffed it with the H K. “Elegance is the offspring of necessity,” he explained, as the spectators’ jaws dropped. “Resources must be taken lightly, lest you become dependent on high cards.” The crowd went wild!

Master Mouse next led a low club to dummy’s 10 and East’s queen, leaving East on lead in this position:

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

East was endplayed; whichever card he leads will surrender a trick. But wait! That’s only an 11th trick. Master Mouse’s work was only half done. In an effort to block the club suit, East returned the C K (nothing mattered) taken by the ace. Master Mouse then led two more trumps to reach:

S
H 10
D J 9 7
C J
S 10 9 8
H 8
D 4
C
TableS
H
D Q 10 8
C 9 7
S
H
D A K 3
C 4 3

The last trump was led from dummy, and East was hopelessly squeezed, electing to pitch a diamond. Master Mouse also pitched a diamond and proceeded in elegant style: D 9 to the ace; D K unblocking the jack; then a club to dummy to win the last trick with the diamond seven. “Meeska, mooska, mouseketeer; my work is done and I’ve won a beer.”

Master Mouse offered this tip to make you a better player — or a complete lunatic [pick one]:

If you have too many aces and kings, ruff them as fast as you can.

The amazing exhibition did not go unnoticed. Master Mouse was soon approached by Bill Gates, who hired him as a regular bridge partner for tournaments. For promotional advantage, Mr. Gates offered the Mouse a six-figure bonus to change his first name from “Master” to “Microsoft” — and the rest, as they say, is history.

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© 1995 Richard Pavlicek