Supreme Game-Teaser

We have a real good chance to win our section in the 8PM Speedball toonimint Sept. 9 when that last board 12 flickered onto the BBO Vu-Graph (as I imagined the whole world was watching — just like on a small-screen TV game show of yore). My mind’s-eye drifted back… back…

When I twitched to a snap-to, I see my favorite hand : a near-yardbird! Even more astounding, Vickie opens 1 in my 6-bagger! Plus we’re white vs. red – so I’m hot-to-trot! 😀

Time for heavy CONCENTRATION (Hugh Downs) on the majors. Tis clearly a great chance for the SALE OF THE CENTURY (Jim Perry), since obviously the PRICE IS RIGHT (Bob Barker, Drew Carey).

We’re playing a pair of polite Canadian CARD SHARKS (Jim Perry, Bob Eubanks), who would never complain frivolously. But pusillanimous “PASS” is for HOLLYWOOD SQUARES! (Peter Marshall) They probably have game+ in EITHER major, so THE JOKER’S WILD (Jack Barry). 😉

But which major should I syke? – That’s the $64,000 QUESTION (Hal March). I couldn’t find the 1 “SPART” button, but maybe I can still bid some-of-BOTH!

AHA – my quiet 1NT might be the perfect non-PASSWORD (Allen Ludden). I flashed back to that ugly duck flapping down above Groucho’s head on YOU BET YOUR LIFE when the show was over. The level of JEOPARDY (Alex Trebek) escalated when Vickie lept blithely to 3NT over South’s DBL.

But I was quite thrilled to say “Content – good here”. How bad can this be? Even down 9 is only -450. And, we beat them to game! Suddenly, another loud WHACK came a-cracking from my infuriated LHO. 😛

I certainly wasn’t quaking in my boots, since as everybody knows, “Diamonds are a boy’s best friend!” I actually snickered out-loud when I pulled to 4. But I sensed that BBO’s Vu-Graph Nielsen ratings were now rising through the roof! South (Mileva Saphire), blurted a desperate 4 — and by now Vickie surely doubted me TO TELL THE TRUTH (Bud Collyer) — but she still felt you gotta PRESS YOUR LUCK (don’t remember who) with a Double.

North courted disaster by failing to bid 4♠, which made often. (In fact, at the other tables 4♠ made 12 times, and failed 6 times, while 4 made 6 times and failed 8 times. ♠ declarers averaged 9.7 tricks,  averaged 9.2 tricks.)

NOW my brain turned to TIC-TAC-DOUGH (Win Elliot). I wanted to turn to my LHO and offer to call the whole thing off. Please, “LET’S MAKE A DEAL” (Monty Hall). Sure, I can take my medicine and retreat to 5X, go for -300 and lose only 3 IMPs — but I relied on pard’s putative 19-count to WIN, LOSE OR DRAW (Vicki Lawrence, Bert Convy) in 4X.

So… Vanna, spin that magic WHEEL OF FORTUNE (Pat Sajak)! Vickie teed off with the K, but she couldn’t work out that I must have 6-card support and a nullo. So she missed her royal chance to reign as QUEEN FOR A DAY (Jack Bailey) and switch to a LOW ♣, which sets 4 automatically.

Even the ♣K or Q switch gives South a quandry: When I play the 9, should you “duck-and-suck”, since Vickie will lead low to my ♣J>A? No. Or, should you win the ♣Ace to temporarily “block” the suit in the actual layout? (Even on a low  up now, Vickie can win J, cash ♣Q then give me a ♣ ruff)

Yet intrepid GIB declares that 4 can still be made by winning the ♣A! But how? 😛 (tick, tock)

Simply play AKQx out to West’s J — and LOOK — the clubs are mangled into only 1 D-winner! Then play ♠A!! 😀

But Vickie tried the A — ruffed. So WHAT’S MY LINE? (John Daly) South (quickly!) found the clever, truly brilliant, intuitive, and GIB-confirmed make of — 6 from her hand!!

Can you see the TRUTH OR CONSEQUENCES (Bob Barker)? If Vickie ducks to 10, then even a ♠ to the J-K can be lost safely because DUMMY can take the next  tap, then ♣ to Ace. But blooming Vickie ROSE to the occasion, poppying her J, to belatedly return a ♣>A.

South had to use AKQ to draw Vickie’s trumps. So WHO DO YOU TRUST (Johnny Carson) to hold the ♠K? She was spared this mind-bender, since now she was MAROONED in her hand. She sighed… and finally plopped out the ♠A… just barely in time to dodge Groucho’s duck, and BEAT THE CLOCK (Bud Collyer)… (drum-roll)… “Out of the clear blue of the WESTERN sky – comes SKY KING!!” (Kirby Grant)… (oops… sorry, wrong genre) 🙁

N-S’s +990 won +12 1/2 IMPs (instead of E-W’s +1100 winning +15 IMPs, since we’d take all the rest of the tricks) 😀

A ringing, bonging GONG SHOW (Chuck Barris) triumph for them, but a total WIPEOUT (John Henson) for us. The missing -27 1/2 IMPs caused another major FAMILY FEUD (Steve Harvey, Richard Dawson) for us, while the proud Canadians played their NEWLYWED GAME (Bob Eubanks) in private, of course! 😉

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