The Card Turner, by Louis Sachar a novel about a boy who becomes the eyes of a blind bridge player- a wonderful story for both children and adults. Here are two excerpts to whet your appetite.

EXCERPT 1

With one round to go, Trapp and Gloria    were 63 percent. This was just for the evening session. The final result would he a combination of both sessions.

We waited for the director to enter all the scores from the last round.

"Shall we go?" said Trapp. "I'm a bit tired."

I couldn't believe it. "Don't you want to find out if you won or not?"

"I'm satisfied with the way I played," he said. "'That's all that matters."

"The hell it is!" said Gloria.

 

 

They won. Gloria whooped with delight when I reported the final results. They each got 15.5 masterpoints.

Trapp pretended he didn't care, but don't you believe it. I had never seen him happier. He even sang a song on the drive home.

We had been discussing music. I'd never heard of any of the songs he and Gloria mentioned, and they'd never heard of the stuff I listened to. I played three songs for them, and Trapp actually liked two of the three.

"You never heard of `Bye Bye Blackbird'?" he asked me.

"Nope," I said.

"It's a classic," said Gloria.

"Sorry," I said.


 

Of course, neither of them owned anything like an iPod, so they sang it for me.

Gloria's voice was surprisingly sweet and melodic. Normally, when she just talked, it was gritty and full of cracks.

 

"Pack up all your cares and woe, Here I go, singing low, Bye bye, Blackbird."

 

Trapp sang the last verse. Listening to him, you just got a hint of the melody, and had to imagine the rest.

 

"Make my bed and light the light, I'll be home late tonight, Blackbird, bye bye."

 

 

EXCERPT 2

 

I decided on the safest action, and set the 3NT bid on the table. I wouldn't want to be in slam without Trapp.

North passed and it was Toni's turn again. She sat there a long time without making a bid.

I wondered what Annabel was thinking about. I wondered if it would make a difference if she knew I was her partner.

Toni reached into her bidding box and pulled out a green card.

The final contract was three no-trump, and I would have to be the declarer. North led the six of spades and I tabled her cards. 

                     

     

DUMMY

   

 

 

   

 

 

   

 5 4

   

 

 

 A

 

 

 

 

 A K

 

 

 

 

 Q J 10 9 8 7 3 2

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Opening lead 10

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 ME

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A 10 8

 

 

 

 

K Q 2

 

 

 

 

Q J 10 8 4 3

 

 

 

 

5

 

 

 

 

 

It looked easy. I could win one spade trick, three heart tricks, and six diamond tricks. That's ten tricks right there. And I might even get some club tricks.

"Thank you, partner," I said, then told Toni to play the four of spades.

The next person played the Q, and I was just about to play my ace, when I suddenly realized it wasn't going to be as easy as I had first thought. I had a serious transportation problem.

My ace of spades was the only entry to my hand. All my other suits were blocked!

If I'd played the ace of spades immediately, I'd have won that trick. I could then have won the next three tricks in dummy, with its three red cards. But then I would have had no transportation to my hand to play the rest of my good hearts and diamonds. I'd have been forced to lead a black card from dummy. The defenders would have been able to take two club tricks and at least three spade tricks, setting the contract.

I stared at the cards in disbelief. I had all these high cards and no way to use them. Strange, but the dummy would have been a lot better if it had had the two of diamonds instead of the queen of clubs.

 

 

I have this rule. If you can see that plan A won't work, don't do it, even if you don't have a plan B.

I suppose experts always have a plan B, and even a plan C, but my rule had worked pretty well when I played in the side game.

Since I knew playing the A wouldn't work, I ducked. I played the 8.

The opponents won the first trick. I could only let them win three more.

My other opponent was on-lead, and he set down the K.

 

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