Ludington Daily News – 18 Sep 1987

Today’s deal is an exciting bridge duel taken from «Play It Again, Sam,» the fine 1986 book by Terence Reese and Martin Hoffman.

Against South’s four-spade contract, West led the ace of clubs. Declarer deduced from dummy’s J-9-8-6 of clubs that the vulnerable overcall by West had to be on a six-card suit. If declarer played low, West would play a second club to give East a ruff, and eventually the defenders would take two or three heart tricks. So South nonchalantly followed to trick one with the club king.

That stopped the club continuation, West switching to the diamond queen.

Declarer won: drew trumps ending in his hand, and then cashed his other high diamond. Only then did he play his deuce of clubs. West took the queen, mentally congratulating South on a clever play, but now West was endplayed.

A club would let declarer insert dummy’s nine for two tricks. a heart would be into South’s king, and another diamond would provide declarer with a sluff and a ruff. The complex solution for the defense is for West to duck the …deuce of clubs played by South. The best chance now for declarer is to play a low heart from dummy, hoping to duck the trick into West, but an alert East will put up the queen to keep West from being endplayed.