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 sensible. Once North opens the bidding and raises hearts, the combined point count must be in the slam zone. South is not worried about aces or the lack of any suit control, so why waste time? Jumping directly to slam is the practical solution.

Board 13
Both Vul
S A K Q
H Q J 10 9
D J 9 7
C J 10 8
 
West

Pass
All Pass
 
North
1 C
2 H
 
East
Pass
Pass
 
South
1 H
6 H
S J 10 9 8 7 6
H 8 7 4 3
D 4
C 6 5
Table S 5 3 2
H 2
D Q 10 8 6 5
C K Q 9 7
6 H South
Lead: S J
S 4
H A K 6 5
D A K 3 2
C A 4 3 2

Alas; too bad. The wasted spade strength and the foul minor-suit layout made the slam impossible. 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 mere exercises for the 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 articulated, as the spectators’ jaws dropped. “Resources must be taken lightly, lest you become too dependent on high cards.” The crowd went wild!

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

H win 8 S
H Q J 10
D J 9 7
C J 8
S 10 9 8
H 8 7 4
D 4
C 6
Table S
H
D Q 10 8 6 5
C K 9 7
East leadsS
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. The 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:

H win 5 S
H 10
D J 9 7
C J
S 10 9 8
H 8
D 4
C
Table S
H
D Q 10 8
C 9 7
North leadsS
H
D A K 3
C 4 3

The last trump was led to squeeze East, who elected to pitch a diamond. Master Mouse also pitched a diamond and proceeded with 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!”

The Mouse offered a valuable tip to make you a better player, or complete lunatic [pick one]:

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

This amazing feat did not go unnoticed. Master Mouse was soon approached by Bill Gates, who hired him as a regular partner. 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. TopMain

© 1995 Richard Pavlicek