A Bridge Phantasmagoria

      

 

 MYSTICAL HORROR FILMS PRESENT TERROR IN TRANSYLVANIA

Some years ago in the remote and macabre Cradula Castle in Transylvania, there lived four men by name Spadski, Hartski, Demonski and Klubaski.

In fact they were of the Undead but aside from their chilling and gory activities as shown in the film, not appropriate to be recounted here, they were ardent bridge fans who ha d been practising together in secret for years.

Came the Transylvanian Open Championship and they duly put in an entry. This team of four unknowns won match after match and eventually reached the final where they were due to meet the formidable Italian team of Vermicelli, Ravioli, Cannelloni and Rigatoni

With their sophisticated Strong Club System, the Italians forged steadily ahead and with four boards to go, they were ahead by 23 IMPs. Three of the last four boards were flat, giving the Italians no reason to fear any significant adverse swing and in fact there was none. But the remaining board was the ultimate horror.

Game all: West deals

 

North
S 654
H 76
D Q9864
C J106

 

West
S AKQJ8
H AQ10
D AKJ75
C -

 

East
S 1097
H KJ98
D 10
C AKQ98

 

South
S 32
H 5432
D 32
C 75432

 

Spadski and Hartski sitting West and East respectively bid as follows:

West

North

East

South

2S

-

3C

-

3D

-

3H

-

4D

-

4NT

-

5S

-

5NT

-

6H

-

7NT(end)

-

This was a spread for 2220 points. Note that with the exception of the seven of clubs, the South hand had no card higher than a five and could be described as a Yarborough Supreme.

In the other room with Vermicelli and Ravioli at West and East, Klubaski and Demonski North and South, the bidding proceeded

 

West

North

East

South

1C

-

2C

-

2S

-

3H

-

4D

-

4S

-

4NT

-

5D

-

5NT

-

6H

-

7S (end)

 

 

 

Excitedly the volatile Italians changed hands and it was clear from their smiling faces that the grand was a make.

Vermicelli addressed Klubaski, “Your lead, Sir.” “No by bid,” broke in Demonski. You exchanged hands before I had a chance to bid, so now I bid 7NT”

”Double” thundered Vermicelli. “Pardon me, you are precluded from bidding as you have seen each other’s hands” said Demonski who knew something about the rules.

“Director” yelled Vermicelli and soon Russell McClymont of Scotland appeared on the scene to give a ruling. He confirmed that the double was out of order, so Vermicelli claimed 1300 points, stating that they had five spade tricks, four hearts, two diamonds and three clubs, overlooking the fact that this added up to fourteen.

“I am afraid you are not quite right there,” pointed out McClymont. “You are both an Offender and an Offender’s partner. All your cards are penalty cards and must be placed face upwards on the table and furthermore, declarer can designate which cards you must play. This rule must be applied and there is no right of appeal for an adjusted score.”

Not having any option, both Vermicelli and Ravioli spread their cards face up on the table and Demonski proceeded to direct the play.

“Kindly lead the jack of diamonds,” he said to Vermicelli. Dummy’s queen won the trick and with eyes gleaming red, Demonski now called for the jack of clubs on which Ravioli was instructed to give the nine and Vermicelli the ace of diamonds. The ten of clubs followed with East required to play the eight and West the king of diamonds.

Demonski revealed a sadistic streak when he next ran four diamond winners, requiring the king of hearts and the three top clubs from East and the ace and queen of hearts from West, while he himself shed his two spades and the five of hearts. On the six of clubs from dummy, East was requested to discard the jack of hearts and when Demonski overtook with the seven, West had to let go his last heart. Now on the five of clubs West was instructed to give the ace of spades while dummy got rid of the seven of hearts and East had to play a third heart. On the four of clubs and the king of spades from West, dummy shed the blocking six of hearts and East was told to give up his last heart.

Demonski now made the last three tricks with the two, three and four of hearts for thirteen tricks and a score of 2220 points and could not hold back an evil smile, which unfortunately for him, revealed rather large teeth at either side of his mouth. The swing of 4440 points gained 24 IMPs and a victory by just 1 point.

However the red glint in the eyes and the rather large teeth had aroused “grave” suspicions. In the film ending a band of intrepid men broke into Cradula Castle armed with crosses and garlic, not to mention stakes, and surprised the foursome in their coffins. After first asking them how they would like their “stakes” they dispatched them to the nether regions.

 

      

by Carl Dickel