Bridge column, June 30: The ultimate in spot-card lunacy?
To finish our week of looking at spot-card plays, this ugly deal may provide beauty and delight. The auction given is sane, but let's assume South has been shown all four hands and is challenged to win all 13 tricks. How should he play after West leads the spade queen?
That South hand is a tad good for a two-no-trump opening, but a tad weak for two clubs followed by two no-trump.
South must win two spades, three hearts (with two finesses), four diamonds (with one finesse) and four clubs (with one finesse). To take four finesses, declarer needs four dummy entries. Two are apparent: the aces. The other two must be "manufactured."
At trick two, South leads the club seven -- his second-lowest -- to dummy's ace, then plays a club to his jack. Next, he leads the diamond nine -- his second-lowest -- to dummy's ace, then plays a diamond to his jack. He cashes the club king and leads the carefully preserved club four to dummy's six. Then he takes a heart finesse. He cashes the diamond king and leads the carefully preserved diamond seven to dummy's eight. Then he takes a second heart finesse and accepts the plaudits of partner.
By the way, Gertrude Jekyll's younger brother, the Rev. Walter Jekyll, was a friend of Robert Louis Stevenson, who borrowed the family name for his famous novella "Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde."
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