Orbital Mind Control Lasers

Sometimes a position is hopeless, but a double-dummy line by the opponents is still available to salvage the hand. In those cases, I try to convince the opponents that the one losing line is attractive if possible. When all else fails, I just throw them on lead and hope they find the appropriate order in which to play their cards. I am hoping that my Orbital Mind Control Lasers zap them into doing what I want them to do.

Playing in the first round of a cash prize tournament, things are going well and I decide to try to push the opponents around a little.

S: 1032
H: K105
D: J853
C: QJ5
S: K75
H: Q973
C: 10932
In third seat vulnerable, I decide to open a bad four card suit for reasons unknown even to me. We play a complicated Drury system and a forcing notrump, so we shouldn't get past 2H: very often, so while the bid is pretty silly, it shouldn't be that unsafe. In this case, it didn't work out well---I have reached a terrible contract that gets even worse when the C:7 is led.

Fortunately, they are playing 3rd and 5th best leads, so when I play the C:J from dummy and follow with the 3 from my hand, East doesn't realize that her partner has led a doubleton. I do since she won the King. East shifts to the D:2 and I need to finesse. This is bad enough already. Luckily, the hook works.

East has shown up with ten high card points in the minors and passed in second seat. That marks the two major suit aces on my left as well as the S:Q. That means that spades are 4-3, since West would have bid them with AQxxx and a side Ace. I don't know about the H:J, though. While I'm thinking about this, the player in my seat at the next table gets up and starts walking to the bathroom. He bumps into me on the way, which is why I notice him. This tournament is being played with a barometer movement, so that means they passed this hand out. I'm not entitled to this information, but it seems likely anyway. Each opponent has ten high card less the major suit Jacks. The only 4-2 heart break I can pick up is the Ace doubleton, so I lead a heart to the King and a small heart back, covering the 8 with the 9 and losing to the Ace. (Phew.)

West happily continues with her second club and this time gets her ruff. She exits with a small diamond and I am in danger of going down two. I'm pretty sure that West has 4-3-4-2 shape and I can cash a club safely, discarding a spade, but East can win a spade and draw the last trump, leaving me stuck in my hand. If I can convince West to hop with a spade honor on the first round, though, I can possibly discard a spade on the last club and exit with the King to make my trumps separately. They can foil this by playing two rounds of diamonds, but maybe they won't get it right. I make a wish to the Orbital Mind Control Lasers that now would be a good time to operate and continue with a low spade towards the dummy. West shrugs and plays the Queen. So far so good. The Lasers must have done a great job, because after a few moments thought, West continues with a low spade! She must not be counting, since I am marked with the King, but I am truly grateful. I'm going to make this!

I win the S:K and discard dummy's last spade on the good club. I make the last three tricks on a cross-ruff and end up +110 for 90% of the matchpoints. Good Lasers, those.

Copyright © 1995 Jeff Goldsmith