September 11, 2022 – The Mercury News

Cy the Cynic walked into the club lounge smiling like a butcher’s dog.

“I finally got the better of her,” Cy sang.

“The latest episode of the Cy-versus-Minnie saga,” I sighed to Rose.

Minnie Bottoms, our senior member, wears a pair of vintage bifocal glasses that cause her to mix up kings and jacks, often to the dismay of her opponents. Cy was Minnie’s main victim: he is convinced that she is an expert disguised as a little old woman.

“So let’s hear how you beat an 82-year-old lady,” I said.

“I got six hearts,” Cy said, posting today’s offer. “With, say, a trump lead, I could draw trumps and run a club. If West took the ace, I would have 12 tricks; if West ducked, I could win and slash a club to drop the ace for the same result. A diamond lead or a low spade would not help the defense.

“But Minnie was West,” the cynic continued. “His open lead was the ROI of spades.”

“She thought she had J-10-8-3,” Rose laughed. “That lead eliminated your entry into clubs and left you looking a diamond loser.”

“I wasn’t going to concede,” Cy said grimly. “I took the ace, drew trumps and cashed the queen of spades and four more trumps. With four tricks to go, Minnie had to save three diamonds and the ace of clubs. So at the Trick 10, I led a club, and she had to win and lead a diamond from her queen. Make six. Hooray for me!”

Cy won this battle. But to win the war, I bet on Minnie and her glasses.

South Dealer

BORN. vulnerable


AS 9 2

H 7 5

DJ 8 4

CKQ 10 9 2


Sask. 10 8 3

H 8 6 3

QD 7 6 2

CA 6


SJ 7 6 4


D 10 9 5

CJ 7 5 4 3


SQ 5

HAKJ 10 9 4 2


C 8

South West North East
Pass 1 H Pass 2 C
Pass 3 H Pass 3 NT
Pass 4 D Pass 4 S
6 H All Pass
Opening Lead – Choose It

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