Murphy on campus
Unlucky Louie has two daughters in college. In the club lounge, Rose asked Louie how they were getting along. “My oldest says that Murphy’s Law applies,” Louie sighed. “If it’s pouring rain, your next class will be on the other side of the campus. If an instructor says that something is obvious, it won’t be. If you do your homework, he won’t ask for it. A pocket calculator that has worked all term will fail during the final exam.” “His kids are just like him,” Rose sighed to me. “Whatever can go wrong, will. Louie was declarer at today’s four spades. He took the ace of clubs, drew trumps and led a heart to dummy’s queen. East took the king and led the nine of diamonds: ten, queen, three. West then led another heart, and Louie took dummy’s ace and led a third heart, hoping for a helpful 3- 3 break. Instead, East won with the ten and led the jack. Louie ruffed, ruffed his last club in dummy and tried a diamond to his jack. Down one. “Three losing finesses and a bad heart break,” Louie groaned. Four spades is unbeatable. Louie can ruff his losing club in dummy at Trick Two, cash the ace of hearts, draw trumps, lead a second heart and play low from dummy. The defenders can’t get untangled. If, for instance, East wins and leads a diamond, Louie ducks it to West’s queen, and West has no winning return. If he returns a diamond, he gives Louie a free finesse. If West leads a club, he concedes a ruff- sluff. If a heart ( assuming West had a third heart), Louie would be sure of a second heart trick.