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The impossible dream

Once in a while, declarer finds himself struggling in a seemingly hopeless contract. This situation might be caused by overbidding, misbidding or any number of other good — or bad — reasons.

Whatever the cause, declarer must nevertheless try to find a successful resolution to his predicament. A contract that appears impossible to make can sometimes be brought home by applying just a little bit of extra effort.

Consider this deal where South is in four hearts. Looking at only the North-South cards, it seems declarer must lose two diamonds, at least one club and at least one trump. Yet, despite this prognosis, South can make the contract if he pays close attention to the task at hand.

West leads the king of diamonds, then plays the ten to East’s ace. East shifts to a spade, won by South with the ace. Declarer sees that he must lose a trump trick regardless of how he approaches the suit, so he devotes all his thoughts to avoiding a club loser. This results in his adopting a line of play that — with some luck — will cause his seemingly inevitable club loser to vanish into thin air.

Declarer begins by finessing the queen of clubs at trick four, then leads a spade to his king and a club to dummy’s ace. Next he ruffs dummy’s remaining spade.

The ace and another trump are now played, West winning with the king. Since West has no more clubs, he is forced to return a spade or a diamond. This allows declarer to ruff in dummy while he discards his remaining club, and the “impossible” game is home.

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 and Conference Center, 1 Atwood Drive, Northampton. The club manager is available at 253-3508 to assist players in need of partners. The club’s website is www.northamptonbridgeclub.com.

There were 12 tables in play March 12.

North-South, overall winners: Roger Webb-Leo Sartori, 57.41; James Hastings-John Sedgwick, 57.18; Evalyn Glickman-Roger Miller, 54.40; Elaine Dray-Ray Somerville, 54.17; Michael Ramella-Sharon Strassfeld, 52.55; Don Weld-Lee Magee, 52.55; Philippe Galaski-Paul Bacon, 50.23; Strata B: Evalyn Glickman-Roger Miller, 54.40; Strata C: Michael Ramella-Sharon Strassfeld, 52.55;

East-West, overall winners: Sonja Smith-David Rock, 62.96; George Griffin-Evelyn Chesky, 59.95; Timothy Joder-Markus Wagner, 57.87; Alan Peterfreund-Muriel Dane, 56.48; Barry LaFlam-Richard McClure, 51.16; Eva Cashdan-Sheldon Cashdan, 50.23; Strata B: George Griffin-Evelyn Chesky, 59.95; Strata C: George Griffin-Evelyn Chesky, 59.95;

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