Home News Bridge: May 19, 2024

Bridge: May 19, 2024


“Here’s the deal, my boy,” the Ethiopian King Cepheus told the young hero Perseus. “Make six spades in this deal and marry my daughter, the fair Andromeda. Fail and we feed you to that sea monster, Cetus, we’ve had problems with. You see, Queen Cassiopeia was vain enough to compare her beauty to the Nereids, and Poseidon got quite upset.

“West leads the eight of diamonds.”

Perseus surveyed the layout. He saw 10 sure tricks: five trumps, three hearts and the minor-suit aces. No doubt the cards lay badly: the missing hearts didn’t break evenly, and both minor-suit kings were wrong.

Perseus took the ace of diamonds and ruffed a diamond with the ace of trumps, preparing to reverse the dummy. He led a trump to dummy’s eight, ruffed a diamond high and led a trump to the nine, relieved to see East-West follow suit. He ruffed the last diamond, returned to dummy with the queen of hearts and drew the missing trump with the jack.

Perseus next took the A-K of hearts. When West discarded, Perseus exited with his fourth heart, and East had to lead a club from his king, conceding the 12th trick. Other winning lines of play were possible — even if declarer just drew trumps, East would be in trouble for discards — but Perseus’s line was elegant.

“Not bad,” Cepheus admitted. “By the way, I forgot to mention that at the moment, Andromeda is chained to a rock down by the coast. The oracle said we must sacrifice her to Cetus to save the situation. So what’s your track record against sea monsters?”

South dealer

N-S vulnerable


S J 9 8

H Q 7 4

D A Q 10 4

C A Q 4


S 6 3 2

H 10 2

D 8 7 6 5

C J 9 8 7


S 7 4

H J 9 6 5

D K J 9 3

C K 6 2


S A K Q 10 5

H A K 8 3

D 2

C 10 5 3

South West North East
1 S Pass 3 NT Pass
4 H Pass 4 S Pass
6 S All Pass
Opening lead — D 8

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