N-S vulnerable

NORTH

{spade} Q 9 6 3

{heart} K J 5

{diam} 9 7 4 2

{club} J 3

WEST

{spade} J 10 4

{heart} Q 8 7 2

{diam} A K J

{club} 8 5 4

EAST

{spade} 5

{heart} 10 4 3

{diam} 10 8 6 5 3

{club} Q 9 6 2

SOUTH (D)

{spade} A K 8 7 2

{heart} A 9 6

{diam} Q

{club} A K 10 7

The bidding:

South West North East

1 {spade} Pass 2 {spade} Pass

3 {club} Pass 3 {spade} Pass

4 {heart} Pass 6 {spade}

All Pass

Opening lead: {diam} K

Many people thought Terence Reese, the brilliant and controversial Englishman, was the world's top bridge writer. I always felt Alfred Sheinwold could match him metaphor for metaphor, but comparing the styles of two great writers is like comparing top-grade peaches and plums.

Reese was best known for the infamous scandal at the 1965 World Championship and its aftermath: He and his partner were accused of signaling by the way they held their cards.

Reese died in 1996, still commenting on the game with acid wit. He is said to have defended today's deal, which features a piece of deception exquisite enough to be cited in the Bridge Encyclopedia.

South ruffed the second diamond, took the top clubs and ruffed a club in dummy. Reese, East, knew South could ruff his last club with impunity and win a heart finesse as well, making the slam, so he had nothing to lose by dropping his queen on the third club.

Now South didn't need the heart finesse if trumps broke 2-2; he could throw a heart from dummy on the ten of clubs and ruff a heart in dummy. So South continued with the queen and king of trumps.

Reese showed out, but South was still in good shape--he thought: Since West clearly had the last club as well as the last trump, South could pitch a heart from dummy on the ten of clubs and try for a heart ruff. When South did that, West shocked him by ruffing in with the jack of trumps. Down one.