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Try the impossible

There is a play in bridge called the Devil’s Coup, and it has to be seen to be believed. Today’s deal provides an example.

It might seem that South must go down one at seven hearts. He has an apparently inescapable trump loser, but there is a sequence of plays by which the grand slam can be made.

West leads a club, taken with the ace. The situation looks hopeless to declarer — who might well be planning to have a few words with his partner at the conclusion of play — but for the nonce he proceeds by ruffing a club at trick two.

South then leads a spade to the jack and ruffs another club, on which East discards a spade. After cashing the A-K of spades, South ruffs still another club, East this time discarding a diamond.

Declarer now cashes three rounds of diamonds, finishing in dummy, to produce this ending:


[H] K 10

[C] 8


[H] J 9

[C] Q


[H] Q 7 5


[H] A 8 6

The lead of the eight of clubs from dummy pulverizes East. If he ruffs low, South simply overruffs and scores the last two tricks with the A-K of hearts. If East ruffs with the queen instead, South overruffs with the ace and takes a finesse against West’s jack to achieve the same result.

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 13 tables in play Jan. 29.

North-South, overall winners: Philippe Galaski-Paul Bacon, 72.00; James Kaplan-Charles Jackson, 64.05; Steve Peck-Earl Waterman, 57.63; James Hastings-John Sedgwick, 55.67; Marlene Myers-Maxine Cechvala, 54.70; Sheila Ryan-Arthur Franz, 50.95; Strata B: Steve Peck-Earl Waterman, 57.63; Strata C: Marlene Myers-Maxine Cechvala, 54.70;

East-West, overall winners: Myrna Butler-James Osofsky, 64.48; Elaine Dray-Ray Somerville, 63.83; Eva Cashdan-Sheldon Cashdan, 55.70; Mary Driscoll-Anita Thompson, 55.28; Michael Starr-Lee Magee, 52.86; Strata B: Elaine Dray-Ray Somerville, 63.83; Strata C: Mary Driscoll-Anita Thompson, 55.28

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