Cy the Cynic entered the club lounge grinning like a butcher’s dog.
“I finally got the better of her,” Cy crowed.
“The latest installment of the Cy-versus-Minnie saga,” I sighed to Rose.
Minnie Bottoms, our senior member, wears a pair of ancient bifocals that make her mix up kings and jacks, often to her opponents’ dismay. Cy has been Minnie’s chief victim: he’s convinced that she’s an expert disguised as a little old lady.
“So let’s hear how you vanquished an 82-year-old lady,” I said.
“I got to six hearts,” Cy said, displaying today’s deal. “With, say, a trump opening lead, I could draw trumps and lead a club. If West took the ace, I would have 12 tricks; if West ducked, I could win and ruff a club to drop the ace for the same result. A diamond opening lead or a low spade wouldn’t help the defense.
“But Minnie was West,” the Cynic went on. “Her opening lead was the KING of spades.”
“She thought she held J-10-8-3,” Rose laughed. “That lead knocked out your entry to the clubs and left you looking at a diamond loser.”
“I wasn’t going to concede,” Cy said grimly. “I took the ace, drew trumps, and cashed the queen of spades and four more trumps. With four tricks to go, Minnie had to save three diamonds and the ace of clubs. So at Trick 10 I led a club, and she had to win and lead a diamond from her queen. Making six. Hooray for me!”
Cy won that battle. But as to winning the war, I’m betting on Minnie and her glasses.
S A 9 2
H 7 5
D J 8 4
C K Q 10 9 2
S K 10 8 3
H 8 6 3
D Q 7 6 2
C A 6
S J 7 6 4
D 10 9 5
C J 7 5 4 3
S Q 5
H A K J 10 9 4 2
D A K 3
South West North East
1 H Pass 2 C Pass
3 H Pass 3 NT Pass
4 D Pass 4 S Pass
6 H All Pass
Opening lead — Choose it
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