Page 8-Sunday,'April 16, 1978-The Michigan Daily
SUPPOSE this is what is called a
guest column. I don't write the
regular bridge column-Ken Parsigian
does that-but last night he sort of.
suggested that I write it: "If you're so
bloody clever, Friedlander, you write
the friggin' column!"
I had never claimed to be clever. Ken
was referring to the mishaps that I had
been involved in (he says, caused) at
the local club that night.
On the round in question we were
playing together, and our opponents
were two grey-haired old ladies with
squeaky voices and orthopedic shoes
who could remember Goren as "some
hotshot upstart in the bridge world,"
but who could not remember the cards
they had played to a previous trick.
Sitting East I opened one spade, but
Ken held his usual miserable collection,
so the ladies bid to three no trump. Ken
led my suit and dummy's king of spades
held the first trick. This was the hand:
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East South West North
1i iNT pass 3C
pass 3NT All pass
Opening lead: 8 of spades
I had heard South's one no trump bid,
so I knew where all the missing high
cards were, but South had heard my
opening bid, so she knew where they
were too. My clubs seemed especially
vulnerable, for knowing I had the
queen, South would drop my ten and
queen with ace and king, picking up the
The old lady declarer pondered, and
when she remembered which hand she
was in, played the ace of clubs. Very
smoothly, as if it were a singleton, I
played the quegn. Clever, huh? If the
queen were singleton, then Ken would
have four to the ten-spot. Declarer
would finesse dummy's nine, and I'd
produce the ten after all, cutting her off
from the rest of the clubs!
Sure enough, South came back to her
hand with a heart and led her last club.
Ken played low. "Finesse the jack,"
'I threw my ten-spot on the table in
disgust. "What do you mean 'finesse
the jack,"' I demanded as South
serenely ran-dummy's now-good clubs.
"The jack was high-my queen had
"Oh?" asked the puzzled old lady.
"The queen fell? When?"
ped through a wrinkle. One of them had-
to be played to this trick, but instead of
letting her just pick up the other card
and put it back in her hand, I saw an
opportunity to avenge the last hand. I
made the four of diamonds a penalty
card which had to be played at the first
This was going to give me extra
chances in both the diamond and trump
suits to avoid a loser. As I smiled in an-
ticipation, Ken frowned, also in an-
ticipation he said afterwards. I cleverly
led my deuce of diamonds. West had to
follow with the four (her penalty card)
and if she had started with a normal
pre-empt. of seven diamonds to the
KQJ, dummy's ten-spot would win this
But East ruffed, another clever idea
shot down. West had had eight diamon
ds, although I'll offer two to one that she
never knew it. Anyhow, East shifted to
a club and I won the ace, preparing
again to tackle trumps.
But now, since East had had to ruff,
there was one less trump out, and I
could brigpg in the suit with any two-two
break. So I led a small one to the king,
and West followed with the jack. That
gave me another option, so I stopped to
"Don't," Ken said.
"Don't think. Just play."
But I. didn't listen to him, which is
why I'm writing this column. Instead I
tried to divine the heart position, to
figure out whether to finesse, against
the queen East might have held or to
drop the queen West might have held.
Well, you know what I did. Otherwise
you'd be reading about some other
hand. I finessed and lost. Down one.
"Why?" Ken asked, shaking his
head. "Tell me why."
I could have said I was playing the
odds, that a 3-1 break is more likely
than a 2-2 break once there are only
four trumps left.
I even could have said that I was
following the theory of restricted
choice, which somehow maintains that
if one of two equal cards is played, the
person who played is less likely to hold
the other equal card. (Or else he might
have played that one. I know, it seems
odd to me too.)
Instead I said that I was being clever,
that after East ruffed the diamond, I
had a chance to pick up a trump holding
that nobody else could. To play for the
original chance of QJ doubleton, would
have neglated any advantage I had
gained from the penalty card.
"Some advantage," Ken muttered
and refused to say anything else.
Meanwhile, the little old lady, com-
pletely oblivious to the fact that drop-
ping two cards at once had deflected me
from the successful line of play into the
only unsuccessful line, apologized to
her equally oblivious partner, "I guess
we could have beaten them one more if
I'd held onto my cards."
"And why would you ever finesse my
partner for the queen when I opened the
bidding?" I continued. "I could only
have 11 points without it."
"Young man. I opened the bidding
with one no trump-do you want to
count my 16 points? Besides, what
would we be doing in game if you had
What could I do? There is no law that
says she has to listen to my bids or
notice the cards I play. "Ah well, Ken,"
I philosophized. "The best laid plans..."
But Ken was buying none of that. "If
you'd pretended to be human and
played your cards normally, she'd have
finessed to your queen on the second
round. Always being so bloody clever,"
I mulled over this insult as the next
hand was dealt.
.H A 109876
Opening lead: 7 of spades
I'VE CHANGED the directions for
convenience. I was South and the
little old lady who had destroyed me
last hand opened three diamonds. Even
after I became declarer in four hear-
ts-completely on my own, as Ken
reminds me-I wouldn't have wanted to
guess what she might have held for her
But I was going to have to. The defen-
se started with the top two spades and
switched to a diamond through my ace.
Was there any chance? Only, if the
queen and jack of hearts were
doubleton somewhere. But since there
was no other play, I won the ace of
diamonds and prepared to tackle trum-
The lady on my left followed with a
small diamond. Twice! She dropped the
three and the four on the table-the
four-spot must have accidentally slip-
S A K 108653
(Continued from Page 7)
like a father attending to measles. But
soon the patient slipped away in a
fashion not assumed by White when he
brought the pig to reside on his farm.
"Once, n the last, while I was at-
tending him I saw him try to make a
bed for himself but he lacked the-
strength, and when he set his snout into
the dust he was unable to plow even the
little furrow he needed to lie down in. He
came out of the house to die. When I
went down, before going to bed, he lay
stretched in the yard a few feet from
the door. I knelt, saw thathehwas dead,
and left him there: his face had a mild
look, expressive neither of deep peace
nor of deep suffering, although I think
he had suffered a good deal. I went back
up to the house and to bed, and cried in-
ternally-deep hemorrhagic in tears."
Why I've recounted all of this I'm not
sure, except. to say that I once hated
pigs and I don't any more. The vision of
the bleeding woman and her frightful
scream are still intact, but the fat pig in
his pen of dirt is less of a villain. After
reading "Death of a Pig" it's just like
White says-there is no turning back,
no chance of resuming one of life's
more stereotyped roles.
This summer I may even return to
the state fair.
Cover photo by Wayne Cable
Supplement to The Michigan Daily
Ann Arbor, Michigan-Sunday, April 16, 1978
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