Not for the faint of heart
Assume you’re in four spades and West leads the K-Q and another diamond, which you ruff. There seems to be nothing to the play, but when you cash the ace of spades and East discards a heart, the outlook changes completely. Now you are apparently doomed to fail in a contract that a moment before seemed cold for 10 or 11 tricks.
But faint heart ne’er won fair lady, and it certainly wouldn’t be right to give up just yet. You still have a chance, since it might be possible to arrange a trump endplay against West if he started with exactly the right distribution (4-3-3-3).
So you cash the ace of hearts at trick five, cross to dummy with a club, ruff a heart, lead another club to dummy and ruff a second heart. Then, with fingers crossed, you play the ace of clubs, hoping West will follow suit. When he does, you’ve got him.
Ten tricks have been played thus far, and your last three cards are the K-10-7 of trumps, while West has the Q-J-8. All you have to do now is to lead a low trump toward dummy’s nine, and West will find he can score only one trump trick rather than the two that seemed so certain at the outset.
It is true that West could have held many distributions other than the one he actually had, in which case he would have been able to ruff one of your club leads or overruff one of the heart leads from dummy to avert the endplay. But, even so, you would have been no worse off for having tried to make the contract and failed.
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 Clarion Hotel & Conference Center, 1 Atwood Drive, Northampton. The club manager is available at 253-3508 to assist players in need of partners. The club’s web site is www.northamptonbridgeclub.com
There were 12 tables in play October 2.
North-South, overall winners: Paul Bacon-John Sedgwick, 60.60; Eva Cashdan-Sheldon Cashdan, 55.42; Elaine Dray-Barbara Pofcher, 54.34; Roger Webb-Philippe Galaski, 53.78; Edward Hougen-Arthur Franz, 53.23; Strata B: Eva Cashdan-Sheldon Cashdan, 55.42; Strata C: Sharon Strassfeld-Michael Ramella, 45.53;
East-West, overall winners: James Kaplan-Charles Jackson, 61.43; James Osofsky-Leo Sartori, 58.44; Sonja Smith-David Rock, 54.79; Muriel Dane-Esther Bean, 53.39; Fran Becker-Mike Becker, 52.02; Sally Gauthier-Richard Gauthier, 51.47; Sheila Ryan-Marilyn Schmidt, 50.53; Evelyn Chesky-George Griffin, 50.43; Strata B: James Kaplan-Charles Jackson, 61.43; Strata C: Fran Becker-Mike Becker, 52.02;