A Bridge Phantasmagoria




The two figures were barely discernible in the smoke-filled room. They were obviously in close conclave and if an onlooker could have moved close enough, he would have heard the older tycoon-type address the younger man thus. “I have entered into a contract, the fulfilment of which is beyond my means but only by very little. As you know, I operate from the South but I believe there is hidden treasure in your area in the North, could we but find a way to lay our hands on it. You are the very knave who could gain access to the treasure despite the fact that the king stands in the way and we have also to contend with the queen.”

“If we can eliminate the king - and after careful thought, I have a plan which seems to be watertight. It will not matter if the queen takes over because she could never last that long and the way to the treasure would then be open and I could avoid the heavy penalty for non-fulfilment. Let me explain my plan in full.”

By this time you will no doubt believe you have picked up the wrong book, but strange as it may seem, the foregoing story is fully applicable to the happenings in this most extraordinary hand.

Game all: East deals


S 10974
H A42
D 973
C J106


S KQ86532
H 3
D -
C Q9754


H 96
C 832


H KQJ10875
D 1065


Over a Three Diamond pre-empt from East, South went straight to Four Hearts. West bid Four Spades and Five Hearts from North concluded the auction.

West led the king of spades, dropping the jack from East and South won the ace. Fortunately, West had not had a diamond to lead. It was easy for South to count ten tricks, but there seemed to be no possibility of an eleventh. Closer study, however, revealed that there was hidden treasure in North, in the shape of the nine of spades because, after reaching dummy with the ace of hearts, the ten of spades could be lost to the queen and the nine would be good.

The trouble was that there was no apparent means of gaining access to such treasure, but this is where the knave of clubs came in. At the second trick the ace of clubs was cashed, followed by the king of hearts and a heart to the ace. The king of clubs was then eliminated by discarding it on the ten of spades and taken by surprise, West won the queen of spades. West could also win the queen of clubs but no matter what West then did, access to the treasure in North had to be yielded. Three diamonds had gone on the ten and nine of spades and jack of clubs.


by Carl Dickel