Granddad is tidying his study. He finds an old notebook in a drawer. It contains a number of thematically-sorted bridge deals. He smiles and sits down in his easy chair. These are deals he used when he taught Barry and Harry how to play bridge. He leafs through the notebook and every deal brings back memories. Even when he hardly knew how to play bridge, Barry knew exactly how the game should be played.
Then Granddad encounters an instructional deal that he had used at the subject 'how to count the opponents' hands'. Barry had been declarer.
|S/—||♠||Q 10 4 3|| |
| ||♥||7 6 5|
|♦||K 9 2|
|♣||Q 3 2|
|♠||2||♠||9 8 7|
|♥||4 3||♥||A K Q 10 8 2|
|♦||Q 8 7 6 5 4||♦||10|
|♣||9 8 7 6||♣||A 10 5|
| ||♠||A K J 6 5|| |
|♦||A J 3|
|♣||K J 4|
As usual when playing practice deals, Granddad had bid both EW hands. Next he started defending with the twin who was to be dummy, in this case Harry. Granddad led the ♥4. Harry won with the ♥Q, cashed the ♥K and continued with the ♥A.
Barry triumphantly ruffed high, boasting: 'Ha, take me for a sucker or what? Piece of cake. Simply counting. Of course Granddad West has only two hearts, since East has overcalled 3♥. Child's play.'
Granddad just nodded.
Barry drew trumps in three rounds and paused to think. Recently Granddad had taught him that, since NS didn't have the ♦10, he couldn't finesse by starting with the ♦J. So Barry played the ♦3 to the ♦K and on the way back finessed for the ♦Q. Granddad won the trick and shortly afterwards Barry was down one, since he couldn't avoid losing the ♣A.
He eyed Granddad resentfully. 'I finessed like you taught me to and still I end up down!'
Harry was looking at the deal thoughtfully. 'Perhaps you should have...'
He didn't get any further, since at that moment Edward and Pedro entered the street, kicking a ball.
'See you later, Granddad', the twins yelled in unison and rushed out. Granddad nodded, soccer was more important than bridge, and so it should be at the twins' age.
Granddad looks up as Philémon is entering the study.
'Hello Philémon, I'm having a look at some deals played by Barry and Harry some time ago. Would you like to have a go at one of them?'
'Mais oui, Granddad, always.'
Granddad shows Philémon Barry's South hand and informs the boy about the bidding.
The first six tricks are identical. Philémon also ruffs high and draws three rounds of trumps. Next he goes in a huddle.
'Let's see', he mumbles, 'East 'as six 'earts and three trumps, zat ies nine. Alors, let's play some clubs to see 'ow many 'e 'as got of those.'
Philémon continues with the ♣K from hand, won by East, who returns a club. After East has followed suit to the third round of clubs as well, Philémon knows what to do.
'So East can 'ave only one diamond. First I play ze ♦A to see whiech diamond zat ies. Ief iet ies ze ♦Q or the ♦10, I can make ze contract.'
When the ♦A indeed draws East's ♦10, Philémon finesses for West's ♦Q.
'Nice deal, Granddad, but not too difficult. Oh, sorry, must dash, Gaston ies waiting for me. We are going to play some soccer wieth ze neighbour boys.'