Friday, July 8, 2016

Fata Morgana

Stella is a very dominant person in the club. It is simply her character to be dominant. When she expresses her opinion, she does so as if everyone else thinks or feels the same way as she does (even if it's not so).

A year ago she almost caused a "club players' rebellion". And why?

Because the club owner brought new cards to the club. Cards where diamonds were orange and clubs were gray (hearts remained red and spades were still black). He meant well, as the idea was to prevent players from missorting their diamonds and hearts, or clubs and spades, as it sometimes happens.

"You can't play with such cards! They are fake! Diamonds should be red like a watermelon is red. Did you ever eat an orange watermelon?" she yelled at the club owner. Before he even got to open his mouth, she continued:

"Every player here is against these cards! If you don't remove them at once - we ALL are going to move to another club!" she said and turned around without waiting for a response (of course, she never bothered to ask anyone else's opinion).

The club owner didn't want trouble over such a small thing, so the good old red and black cards were back in business.

And then, one day, this deal came up, when Stella was playing against Kamal Kazarel (also known as "Kamikaze" for his wild bids):

Dealer East, All vulnerable:

"You bid 7 VUL? You really are kamikaze. Prepare yourself for a painful death," said Stella (sitting East) and laughed loudly.

After the Double, West led the Q.

Dear readers, you will never guess what happened next! It is very clear that the defense have 3 aces to win so... clear down 3, right?

However... here's what happened at the table:

At trick 1 Stella won the Ace of "Hearts" (declarer "dropped" the K), and immediately played the ♣A.

The director was called to the table.

"Lead out of turn" said Kamal to the director.

"Are you nuts?!" shouted Stella . "First you bid like a madman and now you make things up. You bid hearts first, and so my partner was on lead," she said.

"I'm talking about the 2nd trick, the ♣A. I won the first trick with the K so now it's my turn to lead to trick 2..." And then, checking trick 1, it was shown that Stella had played the A to that trick, thinking all the time she was holding the A!

The outcome of this move was severe: The 1st trick remained as it was and the ♣A was left on the side as a penalty card. Stella tried to protest but the director explained:

"At trick 1 you had no hearts and so you chose to discard your A, which is a legal move. However, playing the ♣A is an illegal move, as your lead was out of turn. The ♣A is therefore a penalty card which should be played on the first legal opportunity, unless declarer accepts it now."

"I don't accept. Let it remain a penalty card."

And so Kamil played his A, and when Stella wanted to discard a low card from her hand, the director said:

"Wait!" He took the ♣A and played it to the 2nd trick.

"What are you doing??!!" screamed Stella.

"Well, this is the first legal opportunity, and therefore you need to play it now as you have no hearts to follow suit," said the director, slightly amused.

Kamal continued, and could not stop laughing while he played. After the A and ♣A were out of the way, he played 3 rounds of clubs, throwing the spade loser from dummy, cashed his high K and cross-ruffed the remaining cards.

He tried to sound serious when he said: "7 made, doubled," but he couldn't control himself and burst into an infectious laughter again, causing the rest of table (including the director) a good laugh too.

Stella was extremely upset: "I want you to change that ridiculous score at once, or I shall leave this club and never return!"

The director did not get intimidated: "Be my guest. The door is over there," and he pointed his finger at the door.

"The club owner will definitely hear of this!" she cried.

"Hear what? That you confused a diamond with a heart, or that you want me to rule against the rules, as long as it is for your benefit? I suggest you stop the drama and move to the next hand," said the director in a serious tone and left the table.

Kamel's partner, still smiling, tried to cheer her up: "Real Fata Morgana, these red aces. I wish they brought back those orange and gray minor suits decks. No way you could have made that mistake holding an orange ace of hearts... You would have spotted it at once as being a diamond and put it right where it belongs..."

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