Sunday, May 26, 2013

Dear Computer

Dear computer,

We have been seeing each other for more than 30 years now.  I must say that these 30 years have been quite a ride.  Playing in local clubs where nobody likes you, I had to take your side all the time. I have to confess I sometimes was tempted to side with the players who use the phrase you hate so much: "those hands", like that woman or that guy!  A phrase that infuriates you, I know.

In 30 years, you have never compromised, which is admirable, I have to admit.  True to yourself, you turned a deaf ear to all those who complained about your unusual shapes, unnatural distributions and unpredictable breaks.

What is unusual about a bridge hand? was and is your only and repeated defence.  The hands are dealt and distributed randomly, that is all.  Does Roger, who blames me all the time, think I get up at 3 in the morning to fix the hands in order to trick him personally?  I don’t even know Roger!  How would I want to mislead Susan (another one who hates me to death) personally?

But they won't listen to you, computer.  They just hate you, it is... natural for them to hate you because you are not, well... natural.

I have been down in many contracts myself, even if I have known you all those years.  I sometimes mutter some bad words, like when the Queen is doubleton offside.  I kick myself cause I know it is doubleton offside (30 years, remember...).  If only I had played AK, I would have made that slam.  So I found myself in 6♠ last week, dealt by you, my dear.

All the way during the bidding sequence, I was thinking: "In this club, we will be the only one in slam.  If I go down, we are doomed to a cold zero.  Probably the only problem will be the trump suit, trumps will possibly break 4-1."

Sorry, computer, don’t take it personally (oops!).  I repeat, 30 years of marriage (sort of ) have taught me a thing or two.  No, dear, I am not accusing you now of dealing me "those hands", but you must admit, they happen.  Not more than the probabilities, you say?  Don’t shout, dear.  Yes, dear, just probabilities.

I got a friendly diamond lead, won the Jack with the Queen in hand.  Immediately, I tossed the King of trumps on the table.  Small, small, Jack.

"Well... dear..." I started to murmur.
"I am not listening!" teeths gritting.  "Just play bridge."

I then played the trump 7, small, small, discard.  6♠ making 7, and a top board.

I must say, dear, making that slam was a consolation for all the times I went down in a slam with a 10-card trump suit, with trumps breaking 3-0.  Or when I was in 6♣, we were the only ones there, and trumps split 5-0 dealt by you!  Or when we were in 6 with an 8 card fit topped with AKQ (we could also have played in clubs, we had the same combination), but each minor broke 4-1; all we had to do, stated the sheet (you, dear !) was to play instead in 6 with trumps AKJxxx facing stiff Queen.

Shall I continue?  You are not listening, I know.  You say I am an old and unfaithful grump?

"Yes you are.  You say we have been friends all those years, that you took my side."
"Yes I did."
"I know you talk behind my back..."
"Who said that..."
"Never mind.  I know what I know.  You think I have no heart, no feelings, no..."
"Don’t cry, dear."
"I am not crying, you idiot.  Have you ever seen a computer cry?"

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