A Bridge Phantasmagoria
LONG LIVE THE KING
Love all: South deals.
Southís choice of opening bid is more than doubtful and resulted in the wrong hand playing the slam. The lead of either ace from East would have given North an easy ride. Northís leap into slam without any investigation of a grand slam provoked a bad double from East. East-West were playing a Lightner Double precluding a lead of an unbid suit which would have defeated the slam out of hand.
Suspecting a diamond void, West led a diamond which gave South some breathing space but prospects looked grim. The diamonds could not be run without first pulling trumps, requiring three rounds and five trump tricks and six diamond tricks was still one short.
But for Eastís double, South might have relied on a ruffing finesse in hearts, but he was convinced that the double was predicated on two aces. The whole thing seemed impossible, but suddenly he glimpsed a slight measure of hope. What if East also had the queen of clubs? Seeing nothing better, he drew trumps in three rounds and played off only three rounds of diamonds to discard the six of clubs. He then led the seven of clubs from the table and East was end-played.
If he played low, the jack would win and if he put up the queen, then no matter which ace he chose to play, it would be ruffed and the king of that suit would be good for the elusive twelfth trick.