Friday, November 20, 2009

Rueful Rabbit takes the long road home

The attendance at the Safari Club was larger than usual. It was club championship night and winners would receive extra monkey-points. Everyone claimed they played for the enjoyment of the game, but when extra points were at stake, for some reason there were more than the usual number in attendance. The animals whispered among themselves that they heard humans were the same way.

On this last board of the last round, the Rueful Rabbit was sitting South and was declarer in 3NT:

K Q 4 2
J 4 3
Q 10 8 2
3 2
J 8 10 9 7 6 5
Q 10 8 7 6 9 5
A K 7 6 J 5
6 5 Q J 10 7
A 3
A K 2
9 4 3
A K 9 8 4

West North East South
1 Pass Pass Dbl
Pass 1 Pass 1NT
Pass 3NT All Pass

If West had led a heart, the Rueful Rabbit could put up the jack and make the contract easily. He could play on clubs and take three clubs, three hearts and three spades.

Instead, West led the K and followed with a low one. The rabbit played low and East won the J and shifted to a heart. The Rabbit won his ace and led a third round of diamonds, establishing the Q. West won and exited with the J, taken by the ace.

The Rabbit could still only count eight tricks. As he was deciding what to do, the 2 fell out of his hand onto the table. West was quick to grab his Q and exit with another spade.

All four hands looked like this:

K 4
3 2
--- 10 9 5
10 7 6 ---
7 ---
6 5 Q J 10
A K 9 8 4

Molly the Mule, the club's best kibitzer, was watching. "The Rabbit is in trouble now," she whispered to Billy Beaver. "The spade return killed the communication for a squeeze." Molly's advice was free and worth at least that much.

The Rabbit cashed dummy's Q and when it was his turn to play, the K fell on the table. "Oh, my," said the Rabbit. "I guess it doesn't matter, the J is good anyway, or at least maybe it is. Let me think."

Finally, the RR cashed the J and East was squeezed between the black suits -- making 3NT.

After the session, the Hideous Hog was dining and enjoying a bottle of fine wine -- Molino de Puelles 2004. Several of the other animals were gathered around. They enjoyed listing to the HH's evaluation of the evening's bridge game. The Hog wasn't afraid to say how he felt.

"The Rueful Rabbit is so lucky. He can't play the Q at trick two and make it. He can also play on clubs, but he doesn't bother," said the Hog. "He doesn't think to try and set up his longest and strongest suit, but then accidentally finds a way to rectify the count, and then is accidentally able to keep his communications fluid with his spectacular 'discard.' It's a good thing that I'm so great I don't have to rely on luck."

The Hog wasn't shy when it came to evaluating his own game.

"This is a mature wine that has a satisfying feel and a great aftertaste on the palette. Waiter! Another bottle."


  1. I know the wine is only a buck fifty a bottle, but there are times I dearly wish poker writers had the story telling knack.

    Good one.

  2. Good one. Was slapping my forehead when the king fell out - felt like I should have seen it.

  3. Good grief! I'm going to have a stiff, very dry, martini!