Record was set by only one year
BY PHILLIP ALDER
Yesterday, I mentioned that 101-year-old John Hardy of Vero Beach, Florida, is my oldest-ever student. However, he broke my record by only one year. Van Richard, also of Vero Beach, was 100 two years ago. After that series of classes ended, Richard said that he would see me next year, and I replied that he had better!
Unfortunately, though, that did not happen.
Here is a second deal where Hardy found the killing defense — in my opinion, this one is much harder than yesterday’s.
South was in three no-trump. After West led the spade seven, what happened?
This auction is surely the most common. North should not show that minor suit.
West might have led the heart two, but that would not have worked well here.
South has six top tricks: one spade, one diamond and four clubs. He will take the diamond finesse for at least three more winners.
Declarer should play dummy’s spade jack at trick one, hoping West has led from king-queenempty-fourth or -fifth, but here it makes no difference.
North and South have five spades combined. Five from seven is two. So, the Rule of Seven tells South to hold up his spade ace for two rounds. However, to accomplish that would require some underhanded prestidigitation. When faced with this predicament, declarer often does best to win trick one and hope things work out well. He takes the diamond finesse and here cruises to an overtrick.
Against Hardy (East), South ducked at trick one, but only after a revealing brief hesitation. Hardy smartly shifted to the heart queen, which defeated the contract. Great table presence!
Look for the Saturday Bridge and Chess and local Bridge results in the new Saturday Fun & Games section