Luck and skill: A deadly combo

Last modified: Friday, August 01, 2014
There are plays in bridge that have to be seen to be believed, and here is one of them. Correctly or not, South got to seven no-trump as shown, and West led the nine of hearts.

Declarer took East’s queen with the ace and, with only 12 tricks in view, had to hope that when he ran his clubs, something good would happen. All South knew about the defenders’ hands at the start was that East almost surely had the K-Q of hearts. After cashing seven club tricks, declarer arrived at this position:


[S] A

[D] A K 7 6


[S] J 8 7

[D] Q 10


[S] K

[H] K

[D] J 9 8


[S] Q

[H] J 10

[D] 3

[C] 4

His next play was the four of clubs, on which West discarded a diamond, and it was here that declarer made a very peculiar play: he discarded dummy’s ace of spades!

This odd move had a catastrophic effect upon East. It didn’t matter what he discarded, because South was sure to make the rest of the tricks.

If East chose to part with the king of spades, South would cash his queen of spades, squeezing East in hearts and diamonds. And if East discarded a heart or a diamond instead, declarer would automatically score the rest of the tricks.

Bridge club results

The Northampton Bridge Club welcomes anyone who wishes to play duplicate bridge. Open pairs game: 7 p.m. every Tuesday at the Hadley Farms Meeting House in Hadley. The club manager is available at 727-8639 to assist players in need of partners. The club’s website is www.northamptonbridgeclub.com

There were 13 tables in play July 29.

North-South, overall winners: Paul Bacon-Roger Webb, 62.98; Philippe Galaski-Timothy Joder, 61.54; Irene Friedman-Henry Hewitt, 61.38; John Sedgwick-E Lincoln, 55.77; Mike Becker-Fran Becker, 54.81; Muriel Dane-Bernice Kalicka, 51.28; Strata B: Irene Friedman-Henry Hewitt, 61.38; Strata C: Mike Becker-Fran Becker, 54.81;

East-West, overall winners: Edward Hougen-Arthur Franz, 66.03; David Rock-Debbie Ouellette, 65.22; Anne McCune-James Nowill, 59.46; Barry LaFlam- Batchelor, 51.28; Marlene Myers-Maxine Cechvala, 50.64; Strata B: Anne McCune-James Nowill, 59.46; Strata C: Barry LaFlam- Batchelor, 51.28