Hog's Artistry Wasted . . .

Hog’s Artistry Wasted on Ignoramus

“People sometimes wonder whu I find it so tedious to win from my inferiors,” soliloquized the Hideous Hog. “And yet it’s simple. My artistry is wasted on an ignoramus. How can I execute a progressive squeeze against the Rabbit? Before I’ve squeezed him in one suit he’s made suicidal discards in two others, so of course he is always ahead of me, lying down before I can hit him.
“or try endplaying that Toucan. Since any card he plays is likely to be against his best interests, what’s the point of stripping him of cards he wouldn’t play anyway?”
“How different when you are up against Papa, who is good enough to understand everything that happens — though only after it has happened to him, of course. Why, it’s a pleasure to take his money. You must have enjoyed that backward endplay yesterday, the one . . .”
It was the last rubber. The Hog winced when he cut the Rabbit, though it was a consoling thought that he had Papa and the Toucan against him.

Dlr: North ♠ K Q 10
Vul: None 7 5 3
K Q 2
♣ Q 10 3 2
♠ 6 5 3
J 4 3
♣ A 7 6 4
Pass Pass 1♣ Pass
3♣ Pass 3NT All Pass

The Hog led the 2 to the Rabbit’s Q. Winning with the K, Papa led the J, then another diamond to dummy’s king. The Rabbit won the second time and returned the 8 to the A.
A lesser declarer might have played on clubs. Not so Papa. He like to play for the split aces, reasoning that should RR have both, he couldn’t have the ♣K as well, for that would give him 13 points and he had passed.
At trick five, then after two hearts and two diamonds, Papa led a spade. The Rabbit took the ♠A at once and continued with the 6, setting up, at last, a heart trick for HH.
Smiling confidently at the kibitzers, Papa placed the ♣A firmly on the table. With the certain knowledge that the ♣K was where he wanted, he could almost spread his hand.
When, however, the ♣K fluttered unexpectedly on the ace, Papa frowned. For suddenly his ninth trick, a third club, had vanished into thin air. Now he would need the spade finesse — or so it seemed.
A moment’s reflection and his brow cleared. Looking around for the admiration that was his due, he addressed the onlookers.
“A good hand for the newspapers,” he began. “Call it, if you like, ‘A simple play in an advanced situation’. I’ll explain,” and ignoring the groans round the table, he proceeded to do so.
“On his lead and on the play, HH is marked with four hearts. So he has no longer suit, for he surely would have led it if he possessed one, in preference to those anemic hearts. He has a singleton club. Ergo, as the geometricians say, his shape must be 4-4-4-1 and that, if you count the suits, makes RR’s pattern 3-3-3-4. Simple isn’t it?
“All I need to do,” went on Papa, keeping up a running commentary as he played, “is remove the Rabbit’s last diamond and lead the ♣3. Whether he returns a spade into dummy’s ♠Q 10 or a club into the ♣Q 10 I’m . . .”
RR played the ♣8 on dummy’s ♣3, but to everyone’s surprise the Hog produced the ♣J and proceeded to cash a heart and a diamond to break the contract.

Dlr: North ♠ K Q 10
Vul: None 7 5 3
K Q 2
♣ Q 10 3 2
♠ 9 8 7 ♠ A J 4 2
10 9 4 2 Q 8 6
10 8 6 5 A 9 7
♣ K J ♣ 9 8 5
♠ 6 5 3
J 4 3
♣ A 7 6 4

When HH finished gloating, he addressed the gathering.
“It was really a case of West versus South-East,” he explained. “Had the Rabbit held up his ♠A, as he should have, Papa would have stood no chance. Even if he had returned a third diamond when he was in with the A, we had the contract beaten.
“Alas, instead of profiting from Papa’s ‘wrong views’, shall we say, he ensured the contract for him.
“How could I get the better of my opponents? Only by palming off on Papa the image of a 4-4-4-1 pattern and the illusion of an endplay. And since the Rabbit wouldn’t set up my fourth diamond. I had to get Papa to do it instead.
“What was that caption of yours?” jeered HH. “A simple player in an advanced situation? Quite appropriate. Never mind, Thenistocles,” added the Hog with a patronizing air. “At least you were good enough to be fooled. Thousands wouldn’t have been.”

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