Blackwood on Bridge By Easley Blackwood
On 20 March, 2017 At 18:06
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Ellensburg Daily Record – 29 Jun 1956
Mr. Muzzy’s Weird Tactics At Long Last Turn Against Him
North dealer, Neither side vulnerable
“I still want to know, said Mr. Champion. “how you managed to lose four tricks on this hand.”
The deal had been played in a duplicate team of-four match between Mr. Champion’s team and a team from the Uptown Club.
When it was first played, Mr Champion held the East hand and led the 10 of spades against a four heart contract. The game was made against him, with an overtrick. The two red aces are your only losers, Dale… he continued.
“Unless East got off to the impossible lead of the ace of diamonds and another one. And even then you lose only three tricks.”
“Just a minute.” Mr. Dale replied. “It’s very easy to look at all 52 cards and say I couldn’t , muff this contract. First let me say the lead you call impossible is the lead East actually made. And after leading the ace of diamonds, he continued with the deuce.
“Now, consider my problem,” he went on. “I knew East was a fine player. I couldn’t figure him leading away from an ace-queen. It seemed much more likely that he had opened from the doubleton ace-deuce, hoping to get a third round ruff.
“It looked like Mr. West had the queen of diamonds and that his play of the 10 spot at trick one was a come-on signal.
“Suppose that had been the set-up.” the old master pointed out. “Then if I finesse the Jack of diamonds at trick two, the queen wins and the diamond return is ruffed by East. The ace of trumps would be the setting trick.
Trying to grab the lead fast, I went up with dummy’s king of diamonds—and Mr. West ruffed.”
“Couldn’t you still get rid of your third diamond on the king, of spades?” asked Mr. Champion.
“Never had a chance,” Mr. Dale replied. “At trick three West switched to a trump and East won with the ace and immediately cashed the queen of diamonds.”
“Well, that was quite an opening lead.” said Mr. Champion angrily. “Did East say how he ever thought up such a lead?” “
Said he learned it from Muzzy.” answered Mr. Dale. “Said the next time Muzzy plays on our team, the Uptown Club players are going to spend a month training in the booby-hatch before the match begins.”
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