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August 10, 1976 - Image 6

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Publication:
Michigan Daily, 1976-08-10

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& Page Six Tuesday, August 10, 1976
Arts & Entertainm ent THE MICHIGAN DAILY

TABLE TALK
Ken Parsigian
"NO, NO, NO," I heard Bruce say as I approached the bar at the
club. "It's true that technical expertise is important in bridge,"
he continued, "but psychological expertise is of at least equal
importance. In rubber bridge, anyway."
"Take yourself," he said to Jeff, who had been listening the
whole time "You bid perfectly. You never bid yourself into an
unmakable contract. And if there is a way to make a hand you will
usually find it no matter how difficult it is. Yet, still you lose,"
Bruce continued. "You see the essence of rubber bridge is-
"The essence of rubber bridge," I interrupted, "is knowing
how much you can gamble against each opponent. Against you,
Jeff, one must play a steady game. But against an opponent like
Philthy. Why it would be a sin to play him like an ordinary foe!
Against Philthy one must bid unmakable contracts, and find a
way to make it. Which usually isn't too tough with Philthy on
defense."
"Yes, my friends, the most important thing in bridge is to
know your oppoents. Let me show you a hand t played just this
afternoon," I said as I picked up a penci, and scribbled this on
the back of a napkin. North
^Q
V Q
f A Q 10 x x x
..Kxxx
South
4 A J 10
V A J 10
* K Jx
.ยข A x x x
Giving them just a moment to look over the hands, I wrote
down the bidding.
South North (t)
3c id
4nt 4c
lnt Sd
6h 6d
7nt 6s
"What insane bidding," cried Bruce. "What fool could have
bid 7nt with the South hand. Why, 6d is clearly the better con-
tract. Anyone could see that."
"I'm afraid I must agree," said Jeff. "By the way, who was
South?"
"I was," I replied. "But my bidding was completely sound.
You see, you fellows haven't taken into account one important
factor. Just as it is important to know your opponents, it is also
necessary to KNOW YOUR PARTNER! If I were to have stopped
in diamonds, partner would have played the hand. And with
Philthy as my partner that simply would not do"
"But why not stop in 6nt?" asked Bruce.
"Surely if you expect partner to make 12 tricks on this hand
you can figure me for at least one more," I snapped back. "Be-
sides, it was a good contract. It depended at worst on one of two
finesses."
"One of two finesses?" said Bruce with a quizical look on his
face.
"Impossible," proclaimed Jeff. "A 7nt contract that depends
one of two finesses is simply impossible"
"I said 'at worst' one of two finesses," I explained. "As it
happens both finesses were off, yet I still made my contract."
"Then you didn't take either finesse?" queried Bruce.
"On the contrary," I replied. "I took them both."
"Both?" said Bruce, looking more confused than ever.
"B--b-b-oth?" said Jeff, who was too dumbfounded to even
mutter his favorite 'simply impossible.'
"Perhaps I should just show you how I played the hand?" I
asked.
Since they were both too dazed to respond, I decided to proceed.
"West led a small dianmod, which gave nothing away, and
I won in dummy. Next, I led the Queen of spades and waited to
see East's card. Now, Rich, who was sitting East, has played
bridge for a long time. And like most of us, he has heard a lot of
little sayings about how to play. But Rich, unlike most of us,
follows them all blindly. Third hand high, when in doubt lead
trumps, never finesse your partner, and, most important to this
hand, ALWAYS cover an honor with an honor. Thus, when he
didn't cover dummy's Queen, I knew that West held the spade
King, and I won the trick with my Ace. I re-entered dummy with
a diamond, and played the Queen of hearts, again watching East
closely. Again he played low, and again I swon with my Ace."
"Seems to be getting pretty sticky," said Jeff smugly.
"Not at all," I replied. "In fact, it has become quite simple.
Since West is marked with both Kings, I need only find him with
three or more clubs, to wrap up this grand slam. West did have'
three clubs, and all I had to do was cash dummy's diamond,
keeping four clubs to the King in dummy, and the spade Jack, the
heart Jack, and the Ace and a small club in my hand. West was
helpless. He couldn't keep three clubs, and both major suit Kings.
And if he threw one of the Kings, the Jack in that suit would
simply squeeze him again on the next round. Now, West muttered
something about my good fortune, but you can see that there was
no luck involved. Knowing both my partner and my opponent, I
simply gave myself the best choice of making the hand, didn't I?"

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. t_

DANCERS SWAY through the closing ceremonies of the Ann Arbor Medieval Fair on Sunday
night. The fair, which was carried through the last two weekends, included theatre, dance, music
and crafts exhibitions.
Medieval Festival
sla ugh ter s 'AbeP7

By TIM PRENTISS
THE ANN ARBOR Medieval
Festival's presentation last
weekend of a Wakefield cycle
drama did not exactly strike the
fear of God into the hearts of
its sinning observers. It tried to
give up a taste of those Dark
Age laff-riots now known as
morality plays-but the prehis-
toric acting was destined to
abort any attempt at medieval
staging.
For one thing, the loose pro-
duction of The Killing of Abel
on the School of Music lawn
failed if its intention was authen-
ticity. While t can't speak from
personal experience, t'm sure
that not even the most barbaric
of medieval denizens would have
stood for such a slow, awkward
show.
Most of the comedy was ill-
timed or forced, and the few
moments that evoked laughter
were due to happy accidents. At
one point, Cain's whip got
caught in a cow's horn, prac-
tically ripping the paper con-
strtction to shreds. Another high
noint occurred when brother
5hel gently set down the paper
t--b he was to sacrifice in
mes to the glory of God, only
to wat it roll over in the wind
mI the fail to burn.
THE PLAYERS had an un-
fortunate and somewhat tedious
tendencv to contradict the points
which the play had originally
set out to make. For instance,

Cain was a well-meaning,
wronged worker who was too
broke to put anything in the
collection plate this week.
'The martyred Abel, on the
other hand, was a nagging, self-
righteous religious type, whose
death was a decided relief. Is
this the kind of guy you want
for a brother? Not guilty!
Which makes one think that
the Festival's portrayal wasn't
quite what it was meant to be
back in the Middle Ages. After
all, strolling players were then
supported by the church to teach
the heathen serfs 'the true
story.' It's a safe bet they
wouldn't have gotten away with
this production for long, dif-
ferent as it was from the original
parable.
OTHER, more acceptable con-
cessions were made to our mod-
ern age. At one point, an ex-
ploding pot of flash-powder sig-
nalled the appearance of God,
above a wooden sun. God was a
woman with a blond afro, no
less-an interesting variation on
the usual Zeus-like image.
One of the greatest problems
with the performance was that
the players too often spoke their
rhymed couplets to each other,
rather than directing them at
the audience spread throughout
the valley. This caused audio-
visual problems for the on-
lookers which could not be made
up for by modern stage effects.
Some moments of strength and
redemption for the actors oc-

curred when the spectators were
addressed directly. The force of
the somewhat unsubtle drama
could then be fully felt, and
responded to. As it was, interest
was lost when the piece went on.
ADMITTEDLY, the actors
probably did not spend much
time trying to authenticate
every piece of action, nor could
they have predicted the physical
problems ofbeing heard and
seen. If more communication
had taken place with the audi-
ence, perhaps even allowing
them to participate, we might
have gotten more of the feeling
which should be implicit in the
cut-and-dried dramatic action.
Perhaps then we might have
felt God justified in sending
Cain through a devil's mouth in
the stage to Hell. As it was, I
found myself wishing he had
smashed the bone over Abel's
head about fifteen minutes
earlier, ending the suffering for
us all. Amen.
Have a flair for
artistic writinq?
If you are interest-
ed in reviewtig
poetry. and music
wortiting feat re
sturtes shount the
drama, dance, itm
arts: contact Arts
Edito, e/oThe
Michiaaiaty.

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