Con­tract Bridge

The Weekly Vista - - Fun & Games - by Steve Becker

Di­abol­i­cal duck

As an ab­stract propo­si­tion, it seems im­pos­si­ble for South to make four clubs doubled in this deal, since he has four ob­vi­ous losers con­sist­ing of a spade, two hearts and a di­a­mond.

But Peter We­ich­sel did make that con­tract at the 1984 na­tional men’s pair cham­pi­onship, won by We­ich­sel and his part­ner, Mike Lawrence.

It all came about in strik­ingly sim­ple fash­ion after West led the ten of di­a­monds, on which dummy played the four, East the three and We­ich­sel the deuce! When West con­tin­ued with an­other di­a­mond, the fat moved ir­re­triev­ably into the fire.

De­clarer won East’s jack with the ace, led a low trump to dummy’s ten and ruffed the seven of di­a­monds, felling East’s king and es­tab­lish­ing dummy’s queen as a trick. Next came a trump to the ace fol­lowed by a heart dis­card on the queen of di­a­monds.

Since We­ich­sel still had two trumps in his hand to ruff two of dummy’s hearts, and since there were still three trumps in dummy to ruff the J-10-6 of spades, he wound up mak­ing the con­tract, los­ing only a di­a­mond, a heart and a spade.

West could, of course, have de­feated four clubs doubled by shift­ing to a heart or a spade at trick two. To be fair about it, how­ever, the fact is that most de­fend­ers with the West hand, not see­ing de­clarer’s cards, would have con­tin­ued with a di­a­mond at trick two after the ten held the first trick.

The out­come was in­deed more a trib­ute to de­clarer’s skill than the re­sult of a clear-cut er­ror by the de­fense. We­ich­sel had quickly de­cided at trick one that on the bid­ding and open­ing lead, East was sure to have the K-J of di­a­monds, and he sim­ply hoped that what did hap­pen would hap­pen.

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