Deccan Chronicle

A KING PLAYS A LEADING ROLE

- PHILLIP ALDER Copyright United Feature Syndicate (Asia Features)

In 1950, King Farouk I of Egypt said, “In a few years there will be only five kings in the world — the King of England and the four kings in a pack of cards.”

Another great prediction! Within two years, there was no King of England. Elizabeth II has been on the throne since February 6, 1952. Yet there are still more than 40 reigning monarchs around the globe.

In this deal, taken from “Right Through the Pack” by Robert Darvas and Norman de Villiers Hart, one king can play a key role — what is it? (This entertaini­ng book contains 52 stories, each featuring a different card.)

The reader is told only that South reached five diamonds and was doubled by East. In my auction, South’s two-diamond rebid guaranteed at least a six-card suit.

Warned about the bad trump split by East’s unwise double, South won the club lead with his ace and played a low spade to dummy’s 10. When the finesse worked, South ruffed a club in hand, ran the spade queen, led the spade jack to dummy’s ace, ruffed a second club, returned to dummy with a heart, trumped a third club and cashed the heart ace.

That was nine tricks in, and East still held his four trumps. When South continued with dummy’s last heart, East had to ruff and was endplayed, unable to stop declarer from scoring both dummy’s diamond king and his diamond queen.

The contract would have been defeated if West had inserted the spade king at trick two, which would have cost South a vital dummy entry. Another easy play for a king missed!

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