For release May 23, 2012.
Some people have a mental picture of bridge experts concentrating fiercely when at the table and memorizing arcane bidding codes when away from it. Bob Ewen and Jeff Rubens, two of the most popular writers in bridge history, counter that impression in a new book, It’s All In The Game: The Fun Side Of Winning Bridge.
This collection of some of the most entertaining bridge stories ever written makes the case that, even at the expert level, bridge is a lot of fun. This deal is from the chapter One Murder Is Worth Two Finesses, a parody that The New York Times named
one of the best mysteries of the year when it originally appeared:
South dealer Both sides vulnerable
|♠ J 10 6 4 3|
|♥ K Q 4|
|♦ K 5|
|♣ 5 4 2|
|♠ K 9 8 7 5 2||♠ Q|
|♥ A||♥ 9 7 5 3|
|♦ Q J 9 7 6 3||♦ 10 8 2|
|♣||♣ J 10 9 8 6|
|♥ J 10 8 6 2|
|♦ A 4|
|♣ A K Q 7 3|
South took the queen-of-diamonds lead with the ace and led the deuce of hearts. West won and shifted to a spade, to the queen and ace. How should declarer continue?
Drawing trumps will succeed when clubs break three-two. A stronger line is to take only one more round of hearts, then to test clubs: If two top clubs show the suit to be three-two, South can return to drawing trumps. If clubs break four-one, should the long clubs and long hearts be in the same defender’s hand, South can ruff a club in dummy before continuing trumps.
An even better approach is to play a high club immediately. If this is ruffed, the contract was unmakable anyway. If both opponents follow suit, declarer takes a second round of trumps and then, as described earlier, tests clubs.
The advantage of the immediate club play appears when West shows out but does not ruff. Seeing this, declarer takes dummy’s king of diamonds and the remaining top clubs, then crossruffs the rest of the tricks.
It’s All In The Game (240 pages; $23.95 plus shipping [$4.95 to U.S.; $12.95 elsewhere]) is available from:The Bridge World, PO Box 299, Scarsdale NY 10583 USA or: www.bridgeworld.com or (800) 366-1939