A Bridge Phantasmagoria
THE CLUB XMAS PARTY
At the club’s Xmas party, members are given the opportunity to display their talents, musical or otherwise, and two of the acts had bridge connotations.
You may recall the Paul Daniels television programme featuring the ‘Bunco Booth’ spot, or ‘Heads I win, Tails you lose.’ One member Bill Fraser, introduced as Daniel Paul, had ensconced himself in the ‘Bunco Booth’ and spoke up. “Roll up, roll up, play the hand and win a fiver. Only 50 pence a try. How should the hand be played in Four Spades when West leads the nine of diamonds? All answers by 11 o’clock. Paper supplied. Prize giving at midnight.”
This was the hand displayed on a large blackboard.
Came midnight and a smiling Daniel Paul. “The whole proceeds will go to the club funds. Nobody got it right. Very carefully I asked how the hand should be played, not how South should play the hand. The defense has a part to play.
“After the ace of diamonds, South plays the ace and queen of hearts and overtakes the king to ruff a heart and strip the red suits. Should West overruff with the ace, there is no defense. He could play a club but after the ace and king, East has to concede a ruff and discard so West does not overruff but discards a diamond.
“If South were now to play a trump, West could play the ace and another while East rids himself of the ace and king of clubs and West will come to three club tricks. Nobody mentioned this possibility. Accordingly South leaves trumps severely alone and leads a club at once and East is end played.
“You ought to know that nobody wins in the ‘Bunco Booth’.”
There were loud cries of “Foul,” but all in good part.
In regard to the second act, most of you no doubt will remember Englebert Humperdinck’s theme song ‘Release Me’. Having rewritten the lyrics, I got myself introduced as ‘Dinky Englebert’ with the ‘Nice Girls’ backing group, who sang the chorus to start off and also after every verse which I sang, accompanying myself on the piano. Here are the lyrics and I am not claiming any copyrights.
Please release me let me go
You bid One Spade, I raised to
I bid One Heart, Four Clubs, you
In Three No-trump their only hope
I doubled their Spade slam for a
O’er my One Club next hand said
And we were bidding gaily on
Their club pre-empt you doubled
And then there came the final
Final chorus in lament mode!