A Bridge Phantasmagoria

      

 

SIMPLE ARITHMETIC

Game all: South deals

 

North
S AK94
H 74
D J1083
C K94

 

West
S J6
H AKQ108
D 2
C Q8753

 

East
S Q108532
H J65
D 764
C 10

 

South
S 7
H 932
D AKQ95
C AJ62

 

 

Bidding: -

South

West

North

East

1D

1H

1S

-

2C

-

3D

-

5D (end)

 

 

 

West cashed two top hearts and switched to the jack of spades. Dummy’s ace won and trumps were drawn in three rounds. Declarer won the king of clubs and led a second club with the intention of taking the finesse. When East showed out he had to concede one down.

It was too difficult for McTavish playing East not to display his expertise and this occasion was no exception. “Your took the club finesse the wrong way. You make the contract if you play the ace first and then finesse the nine.”

South swallowed the bait, hook, line and sinker. “All I needed was the gift of second sight,” he said sarcastically.

“Not at all,” said McTavish, grinning hugely. “All you needed was a little preparatory investigation and the simple arithmetic of counting up to thirteen. After drawing trumps in three rounds ending in dummy, you cash the king of spades and ruff a spade. West shows out so you have established that I held six spades, and when you then ruff a heart, you find that I had three hearts. I have already followed to diamonds three times and therefore I am left with a singleton club. Your only hope is that my singleton is the queen or ten. If it is the queen, it does not matter what you do, but when it shows up as the ten you must first play the ace of clubs.

“Quod erat demonstrandum,” concluded McTavish, airing his Latin.

 

      

by Carl Dickel