Saturday, March 27, 2010

The Rabbit puts in an Appearance

Here's a little comedy from last evening's club game.  It demonstrates the absurdity of the term "dummy".  In this case, all of the other three people at the table acted like, well... dummies.  The tale is told from dummy's point of view (not this blogger).  Declarer's identity may or may not be revealed at the end.

You pick up this fine hand as dealer with none vulnerable: ♠– T753 K5 ♣AKQ8765.  You open 1♣ and there is a predictable 1♠ overcall on your left.  Partner joins in with 1NT and RHO bids 2♣.  You decide to try 2NT and there the matter rests.

RHO leads ♠4 on which partner dumps your small diamond while LHO wins the trick with the A and partner follows with the 2.  So far, things are proceeding more or less as expected.  LHO persists with the ♠6 which partner wins with the K, LHO following with the 5.  You get ready to pitch a small heart when you think you hear "small club, please?".  "Small club, did you say?" you ask somewhat incredulously.  "Small club, please."  So, from your solid seven-bagger you are now down to six tricks.  Oh well, maybe he isn't quite over his recent malaise, you think.

Partner now plays the ♣4 from his hand, followed by the 3 and you confidently reach for the A.  "Small club," says partner again.  Is the record stuck, perhaps?  "Small club, did you say?" you ask somewhat incredulously for the second time.  "Small club, please."  OMG, you think.  Partner has really lost it.  From a solid seven card suit he's now down to five winners only.  LHO, with a somewhat bemused air wins the trick with the 9.

Another spade (3) is played which partner wins with the Q, RHO following with the 9.  This time partner calls for a heart.  Have you heard that right?  "Small heart, did you say?" "Small heart".  Somewhat relieved, you put the small heart on the table.  Things become a slight blur now as partner rattles off the five remaining clubs.  A flurry of red cards is being pitched all over the place.  Partner pitches two diamonds and two hearts.  LHO lets go a bunch of red cards and, somewhat reluctantly, the SJ.  RHO is pitching red all the way.

Finally, partner calls for the DK which is won by RHO's A.  A diamond is returned and partner claims ten tricks for 180.  LHO somewhat unnecessarily observes that his ♣9 was a singleton.  All have a good laugh.

Yet, it seems declarer has had the last laugh, as no other declarer in our direction made even as much as 150.

So, what was going on?  Partner, like our famous friend the Rabbit, was guarding against an unlikely 4-0 split in clubs?  Absurd at matchpoints, you say?  Well, yes, but partner was under the impression that RHO had bid clubs, having forgotten apparently, despite the presence of a solid seven card suit, that I had opened one club!

BTW, just as in a famous hand which I think is reported in Points, Schmoints, there is something funny about this deal.  Nobody bid a heart.  Nobody played a heart, other than to discard one.  

The identity of our rabbit?  Ah, modesty forbids.

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