Monday, May 21, 2007

Day 2 - The Beginnings

So the blog has commenced, I had a comment, happy days. This blog is not only about me but about everything bridge, especially the Bridge in the Menagerie. For those unknowing of these blessed books, it is a series by Victor Mollo. It's hands and strories are mostly taken from a rubber bridge club called the Griffins. They brave an occasional duplicate matchpoint session in the Unicorn. All the players barring Victor Mollo are named after animals because of their appearance and bridge nature. The Hideous Hog, for example, is a man of ample carriage and a hog at the table also. The Rueful Rabbit, on the other hand, is a rueful, timid character. However he is the luckiest in the club, performing complex squeezes, coups and endplay's on unsuspecting victims. The hog as learnt to use this to his advantage on the rare occasions of him give the Rueful Rabbit a hand.

Here is a hand from the first book in the series:

West
H.H. *
S AQJ87
H J9
D K8
C KQ76

East
R.R. **
S 532
H J653
D AK97
C A4
(*H.H. = Hideous Hog)
(**R.R = Rueful Rabit)

Bidding:
West ---North----East----South
1S------no--------3S------no
4H------no-------5D------no
5S------no--------6C------no
6S------Dbl-------no------no
ReDbl

'South showed out, throwing a low diamond and I held the first trick in dummy. Well, how do you set about it?'

'It was clear on the bidding and the first trick no suit would break for me. It was equally clear north had something good in hearts, but certainly not ace and king or he surely would have led one of them.'

'The answer, I felt certain, was to squeeze South in the minors. The snag was I had to lose a trick first to rectify the count. If I simply played of my five spades, South could keep four diamonds and four clubs. But if I could somehow lose a trick then South would be helpless.'

Pseudo Rectification

'So to the second trick I led a heart. South played the deuce, a cunning card to mislead me, and the knave fell to North's queen. Do you blame North for leading another trump?'

These were the four hands:

----------North
--------
S 65432
-------- H KQ65
-------- D 53
-------- C 54

----West------------East----
S AQJ87 ----------S KT9
H J9--------------H 874
D K8--------------D AQ42
C KQ76-----------C A32
-----------South
--------S -
--------H AT32
--------D JT976
--------C JT98

'I settled down to the trumps and on the last one, when only seven cards could be retained, South was squeezed in the minors.'

'You should have heard North tell South what he thought of his doubles and of that crafty deuce of hearts. Fatuous and some lovely, long words of Greek origin, which I intended to write down for future use and...'

That is a direct quote from Confessions of a Hog, Bridge in the Menagerie by Victor Mollo.

From this extract we learn the Hog to be an ambitious overbidder but a very strong player none the less (and he knows it). Not much of his hog nature has come across though.

Phew that took a long time.

(p.s. if anyone would like to enlighten me as to how to put in hands properly I would be very gracious.)

1 comment:

Paul said...

Have you seen Firmit's hand diagrams and auctions? I'm using them now on my blog.

More details on his blog.