A Bridge Phantasmagoria

      

 

TWO QUEENS DISAPPEAR

On the hand below, one would imagine that a contract of Four Spades would be high enough, as there is a trump loser and also a losing trick in each of the minors.

Yet two of the opponents’ “sure” tricks mysteriously disappeared into thin air. This looks like a case for Columbo, but Johan Sylvan of Holland, who had come in as a substitute to take part in the Forbo International in Sheveningen, actually brought home a contract of Six Spades.

 

North
S Q
H A7642
D A53
C K752

 

West
S J1053
H KQJ5
D 974
C 93

 

East
S 86
H 1083
D QJ82
C QJ104

 

South
S AK9742
H 9
D K106
C A86

 

 

Bidding:

South

West

North

East

1S

-

2H

-

3S

-

4C

-

4D

-

4H

-

4S

-

5D

-

6S (end)

 

 

 

West led the heart king and when dummy shows, most players would conclude that their chances were poor even were the trumps to break 3-2.

South won the heart lead in dummy and ruffed a heart in hand. A trump to the queen was followed by a second heart ruff and now the ace and king of spades revealed the trump loser and seemingly inevitable defeat.

Declarer went to dummy with the king of clubs and used his last trump to ruff a heart and thus establish the fifth heart. West had the only remaining trump and East on the face of it, would later score the queens of both minors.

Nevertheless, South went over to dummy with the ace of diamonds giving the lead to dummy in this extraordinary ending:

 

North
S -
H 7
D 5
C 75

 

West
S J
H -
D 97
C 9

 

East
S -
H -
D QJ
C QJ

 

South
S -
H -
D K10
C A8

 

On the seven of hearts East was squeezed. No matter which minor he unguarded, South would make two tricks in that suit and throw his loser in the other. West could make his trump, but the two expected queen winners had disappeared.

 
      

by Carl Dickel