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1600 Games XXV: Feeling the Squeeze

Anny was looking for the second deck of cards to shuffle so they'd be ready at the end of the current deal. But it was nowhere to be found.

Her look of puzzlement was picked up by 'Chelle, who as usual was alert to any sign of discomfort among her guests. “I'm sorry honey, there's no second deck anymore,” the lady of the house said. “It's been taken away as part of that sea-quester business..."


“And when you go to powder your nose, you'll surely notice that they've replaced the hand-sewn towels in the ladies room with paper ones.” 'Chelle frowned. “Good thing they've left us with any towels at all.”


“I don't understand why. Good towels aren't really that expensive,” said Anny. “We prefer the hand-sewn D. Pourthault Egyptian cotton ones; they're regularly $400 each, but you can sometimes get them for $350 on sale at their shop on Park Ave.”


“We don't need anything fancy,” 'Chelle said. “And I know that your pal little Paul and his sidekick Cantor want to save money, but paper is just too much...”


Her voice trailed off as Bar interjected. “Not too much darlin', it's clearly too little.”


Mitty put his hand on his chin and gave some thoughtful advice. “Well, maybe you can pick up some Egyptian cotton ones on your upcoming Middle East trip. I'm sure that President Morsi would be happy to send you a few, when you're in the neighborhood.”


“I'm not going to worry about that,” said Bar. “What concerns me more is whether the TV at the King David in Jerusalem, where we'll be staying, will carry NCAA basketball. It's March madness time, remember.”


Anny took advantage of the fact that she alone, with no public position and no aspirations for one, could afford to be undiplomatic. “There's lots of madness out there all the time, not only in March,” she said.

If sequestration had no effect on Anny and Mitty, they would soon feel the pinch others were experiencing a few deals later.

Anny
J9742
43
853
A82
Bar
AK5
Q865
KQ9
Q74
Mitty
Q106
92
10764
J1065
Chelle
83
AKJ107
AJ2
K93
W
N
E
S
 
1
P
2N
P
3
P
4N
P
5
P
6
P
P
P
D
6 South
NS: 0 EW: 0

Anny made the safe lead of the trump four and 'Chelle studied the dummy. The duplication of diamonds was something of a disappointment; couldn't her husband have had a fourth one to provide a club discard? The only chance seemed to drawing trumps and eliminating the pointed suits, hoping to find one defender or the other with the doubleton club ace. There seemed nothing better, so she drew two rounds of trumps.

'Chelle saw little point in dragging things out, so she led a club towards the Q at Trick Four and was happy to see it hold. Next came the K and Q and three more rounds of trumps, discarding a diamond from dummy on the fifth one. The A from hand came next in this position:

Anny
J97
A8
Bar
AK5
74
Mitty
Q106
J10
Chelle
83
A
K9
D

Anny couldn't bear to bare the A and was forced to discard a spade, a club was discarded from dummy and Mitty, seeing that dummy's third spade would be high if he discarded in that suit, was forced to pitch the T. 'Chelle now cashed the two top spades and played a club, covering Mitty's J with her K. Anny won the ace, but her club eight lost to 'Chelle's 9 for the 12th trick.


“Yes we can!” exclaimed Bar. “But why did you choose that line over the simpler one of trying to find a doubleton club ace in either hand?”


'Chelle flashed a huge grin. “Social justice, dear, social justice. I chose the squeeze because I wanted them to feel the pressure other folks are experiencing 'cuz of their pals' obsession for deficit cutting.”

 

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