Schenectady Gazette – 17 Mar 1954

Contrary to the usual practice, today’s hand was a battle between Mr. Dale and Mr. Champion, the former trying to give away a trick and the latter trying to avoid winning it.

SOUTH DEALER. Neither side vulnerable.

The Field of Battle: Was the heart suit and Mr. Dale won out because he was lucky enough to have been dealt the deuce. Mr. Champion opened the queen of spades and it was ducked all around. After looking over the dummy, he felt pretty gloomy about his chances of beating the contract. He could see one spade winner, one heart and one club, but no more.

At the same time Mr. Dale was feeling pessimistic about his chances of making the contract. With no entry to the board, it seemed that he would have to lose three Spades and possibly a heart.

As Usual: Mr Champion put up the best possible defense. At trick two he cashed the ace of clubs, then shifted to the eight of  diamonds. Mr. Dale was in with the ace of diamonds and he realized that the only way he could get those three tricks on the board was to throw Mr Champion in and have him return a club or a diamond.

At trick four he laid down the ace of hearts. Mr. Champion sensing the true situation started to get out of the way, playing the six spot.

Mr. Dale’s worries were not over yet. What if Mrs. Keens nine of hearts was a false-card» What if she had two small hearts and Mr. Champion had the queen doubleton? In that case the next heart lead would have to be a small one, not the king. In other words Mr. Dale had to lose a heart trick as he would be set if he led spades himself at the end of the hand.

He made the right play. He cashed the king of hearts, Mr champion dropped the queen but then the deuce was led and Mr Champion had to win with the trey. Here either a club or a diamond return would put dummy in and enable Mr. Dale to discard his losing spades.