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Contract Bridge: Happy ending

Bad luck is a factor in the outcome of many hands, but there are cases where bad luck can be overcome by good management. Here is a typical example.

Assume you’re in six spades and West leads a diamond. At first sight, your only loser appears to be a heart, but when you win the diamond with the king and play the ace of trumps, East shows out, and your stock plummets. The slam apparently must now go down one.

But if you have the proper attitude, you realize that all is not necessarily lost. The situation is not as hopeless as it looks, because you can still get home safely if the rest of the cards are favorably placed.

Since there is no way of escaping the trump loser, you set your sights on avoiding the heart loser. You will need some luck to meet this goal — namely, that West was dealt the king of hearts and that you can eventually force him to lead from it.

So you cash the A-K of clubs and ruff a club. Next you play the A-Q of diamonds and ruff a diamond. Finally you cash the K-Q of trumps and, at trick 11, exit from dummy with a trump.

West has no alternative but to win the trick, and, with only the K-9 of hearts left, he must lead one of them. Whether he leads the nine or the king doesn’t matter — in either case you lose no heart tricks and make the slam.

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 August 20.

North-South, overall winners: Irene Friedman-Henry Hewitt, 60.65; Roger Webb-Philippe Galaski, 58.56; James Hastings-John Sedgwick, 55.56; Lee Magee-Susan McCoy, 54.17; Muriel Dane-Paul Bacon, 52.55; Edward Hougen-Arthur Franz, 51.39; Strata B: Irene Friedman-Henry Hewitt, 60.65; Strata C: Fran Becker-Mike Becker, 49.07;

East-West, overall winners: Sonja Smith-David Rock, 62.96; Leo Sartori-Timothy Joder, 62.50; Robert Sagor-James Osofsky, 59.95; Marlene Myers-Maxine Cechvala, 58.33; Myrna Butler-Don Weld, 50.23; Strata B: Marlene Myers-Maxine Cechvala, 58.33; Strata C: Marlene Myers-Maxine Cechvala, 58.33

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