Wednesday, October 9, 2019

A perfect Yarborough

Yarborough: A hand containing no card higher than a nine.

Harold was bored. All evening he got terrible cards, he did not get to declare a single hand.
His lovely partner tried to cheer him up: “Unlucky in cards means Lucky in love”, she said with an encouraging smile.
Harold didn’t find that comforting. He was not lucky in love either.
“I have luck in both, cards and love”, said his opponent, annoying him even further.
“Maybe this time you will get better cards”, his partner maintained her positive attitude.
“Well, if not – I’m going to move to the club next door. I heard that they deal more points to poor players like me”, continued Harold pouting, and pulled out his cards from the board.
He squinted: These were no doubt the worse cards he had since the beginning of the evening. A big fat nothing. A perfect Yarborough.
Dealer South, All Vulnerable
Though still in shock that cards can be as bad as these, he did notice his partner’s lead directing double, and being on lead he led the ♣8.
“That’s it. The war is over for me”, he mumbled while giving a huge yawn for everyone to see, that his role in this hand is over.
His Partner won with the ♣Q and cashed the ♣A too. Seeing high-low in Harold’s hand, she continued with the ♣K which won the trick too (Harold discarded a Spade).
While she thought of her next move Harold remarked to his opponent: “I bid a direct 3NT with 3-3-3-4 distribution”, he said, while another huge yawn appeared on his face during this sentence.
“Shhhh… I’m thinking”, said his partner.
“And I’m bored”, mumbled Harold and started to shuffle his cards and move uncomfortably in his chair.
Finally (after what seemed like an eternity to him) she played a 4th round of Clubs.
“I don’t get cards, but I get a partner who lets opponents get a ruff & discard”, he commented, pitching another Spade.
Declarer ruffed with the 6 and played the Q, finessing East’s K, then claimed 10 tricks after he finished drawing trumps.
Harold’s partner, usually very peaceful and optimistic, was really angry: “Your behaviour today is awful. Playing thoughtless and shooting insulting comments left and right. All this while managing to play badly and make mistakes with a 0 points hand, destroying my brilliant defense!”
Harold made a face that clearly said “what could I possibly do with my Yarborough hand” and opened his mouth to speak, but before he got to utter a sound his partner snorted:
“I counted you with a Yarborough. Declarer showed 15 points, I had 14 and dummy showed 11, that left nothing in your hand. That means opponents hold ♠AKQ, AKQ and A, which puts my K in a bad place, suggesting they can make 4 Heart tricks. Having no further side tricks, our only hope laid in the trump suit, of course, assuming that you have the common sense to wake up in time and co-operate with me. All you had to do was ruff the 4th Club with your 7. That move forces the 10 out of dummy and helps me promote my 9! The Q will be covered with my K, taken by the A. On the J I follow with the 8. And my 9 is good!”
Harold felt miserable: “Looks like even with a perfect Yarborough the war is not over yet”.