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Rabbit Leads a Heart

With great reluctance and pressure from the regional bridge authorities, the members of the Griffin club agreed to hold a pre-played Matchpoint tournament. The hands would be ones which were already played at more than a 100 tables previously, and the scores would be compared against the results of those tables, rather than the tables present at the club. The results slip which contained the contracts and the opening leads at those 100+ tables, would be available as soon as the board was played.

The Hog agreed to play with the Rabbit, and on the way to the club, the Hog said, "Raise me with 2 trumps, or a singleton honour. Feel free to double the opponent's contract, no transfers when you open NT". The rabbit replied, "Ok. Lets play 3rd/5th and udca". The Hog, with a generous wave of his hand, said, "Sure". He ignored the Rabbit's defensive signals, anyway.

Meanwhile, Karapet, who was paired with Papa was saying, "Never raise me with just 3. With me they split 5-0. Never double the opponent's contract, they will make it, and never use stayman or transfers which will result in a fatal lead directing double. Why, just last Tuesday..."

He was interrupted by the Hog and Rabbit arriving at their table. Papa and Hog quickly made a side bet about who would make the Rabbit squirm in his seat first, while the Rabbit and Karapet exchanged system information. A few moments later, the tournament began.

Papa was South and was dealt

Papa
AKQJ10
A107
A3
AKQ

 Papa opened 2, Karapet responded 2, show 0-4 or 8+ in their system. Papa bid 2, and Karapet jumped to 4, denying interest in slam, and showing 0-4.

At this point, Papa, starting his usual monologue with his imaginary kibitzer, thought: "Listen closely. Many players will pass here. Not Papa. You see, Rabbit is on the lead. That is usually worth one, if not two tricks. I am playing the hand, and that is worth an extra trick. I am going to bid 6. But wait! Not so fast. Where is your imagination? If you are going to bid 6 anyway, why not give opponents a chance to make a lead directing informative double to our advantage?".

Papa bid 4NT, and Karapet showed his 0 Aces with 5. 6 from Papa closed the bidding. The Rabbit and the Hog had passed through out.

The Rabbit led the 8, and this is what Papa saw:

Rabbit
Karapet
5432
J93
Q2
J1098
Hog
Papa
AKQJ10
A107
A3
AKQ
W
N
E
S
 
2
P
2
P
2
P
4
P
4N
P
5
P
6
P
P
P
D
6 South
NS: 0 EW: 0
8
1

Papa continued, "See! You can count on the Rabbit! The lead marks the Hog with KQxxx(x). After winning the Q with the A, even the Rabbit can force an entry to dummy by overtaking the T with the J. Draw trumps, unblock clubs, force entry, throw loser on J. 12 easy tricks and a well deserved top!".

Congratulating himself, Papa asked for the 3 from dummy, and was taken aback when the 2 appeared on his right. After getting over the initial shock, he thought, "Hog is a good player, but this is brilliant! With KQxxx(x) and he can afford to make an entry denying duck. He deserves a good result, but unfortunately for him, I am declaring. I can still make the hand. Wait and see".

So Papa won with the T, drew trumps, cashed the AKQ and the A.

The play so far(click Next):

South
AKQJ10
A107
A3
AKQ

 

Papa continued, "We are at the fork in the board, if you will. I can still make the hand if I can tell who has the K. If the Hog has it, I can exit with a heart, endplaying him. If the Rabbit has it, then I can play A and Q. The Rabbit who is out of hearts, must give me the 12th trick. Now who has the K you ask? Remember the bidding? Imagination? Karapet bid 5, and Hog did not double! That inference is good enough to place the K with the Rabbit. Of course, if it was a better player like me, who is capable of making a deceptive double... besides, I will have a chance to make the Rabbit squirm and win the bet".

So Papa played the A and a to the Q. It was won by the Rabbit with the K who now started squirming in his seat.

Papa thought, "Aha! As we inferred. Let him squirm for sometime. I win the bet and a top! I will claim just before he is about the play a card".

After some agony, the Rabbit detached a card, and Papa was about to claim as it hit the table, when he was totally shocked to see that it was the Q, which took the setting trick.

 

This was the whole hand:

Rabbit
987
KQ84
K109
542
Karapet
5432
J93
Q2
J1098
Hog
6
652
J87654
763
Papa
AKQJ10
A107
A3
AKQ
W
N
E
S
 
2
P
2
P
2
P
4
P
4N
P
5
P
6
P
P
P
D
6 South
NS: 0 EW: 0
8
3
2
10
3
1
0
A
7
2
6
3
2
0
K
8
3
4
3
3
0
Q
9
4
5
3
4
0
A
2
8
3
3
5
0
K
4
9
6
3
6
0
Q
5
10
7
3
7
0
A
4
9
5
3
8
0
A
9
2
6
3
9
0
3
K
Q
7
0
9
1
Q
J
6
7
0
9
2
11

 

Papa spluttered, "You.. you... led the 8 from KQ84?".

"Yes, we are playing 3rd/5th", said the Rabbit.

"What were you thinking about when you got in with the K!?", cried the Hog, handing Papa an IOU for his side winnings.

"I was not sure whether we play the K or the Q in this situation. Maybe I should have played the K. In any case, it did not cost a trick".

Meanwhile Karapet who had opened the pre-played results slip, spoke: "Most were in 4 making 6. Some were in 6 making and some were in 6NT making. One South was passed in 2 making 12 tricks. At all tables, the lead was K."

"Maybe they weren't playing 3rd/5th", said the Rabbit, as they drew cards for the next board.

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