E-W vulnerable


{spade} 7 4

{heart} Q 10 9 4

{diam} K Q J 3

{club} K 10 4


{spade} A 10 6 5 2

{heart} None

{diam} 10 9 8

{club} Q J 6 5 2


{spade} Q 9 3

{heart} J 3

{diam} 7 5 4

{club} A 9 8 7 3


{spade} K J 8

{heart} A K 8 7 6 5 2

{diam} A 6 2

{club} None

The bidding

NorthEastSouthWestPassPass 1 {heart} Pass3 {heart} Pass6 {heart}All Pass Opening lead: {diam} 10

Iwas playing in a pairs event with Cy the Cynic when we sat down against Minnie Bottoms, my club's senior member.

"How nice," Minnie murmured. "We get to play against the experts."

Cy threw me a look that would have curdled milk. Minnie and her old bifocals, which make her mix up kings and jacks, regularly saddle Cy with bottom scores.

Cy was determined to go down fighting. When I issued a jump raise of his opening bid of one heart, he leaped to slam. West led the ten of diamonds, and Cy saw immediately that the contract depended on a winning guess in spades. If West held both the ace and queen, Cy had no chance. Should he play East for the ace or for the queen?

Cy was sure West didn't have both black aces: Then she'd have led one of them. So Cy decided on a "discovery play" to find out who had the ace of clubs. He won the first trick in dummy and led the king of clubs. Minnie, East, smoothly played low!

Cy ruffed, drew trumps and led a spade from dummy. Minnie played low again, and Cy confidently put up the king, playing West for the ace of clubs, hence no ace of spades. West produced the ace and returned a spade to Minnie's queen for down one.

Minnie thought dummy's king of clubs was the jack, of course. She followed with a low club because she thought Cy was about to lose a finesse to the queen.

"What chance have I got?" Cy asked me. "I make discovery plays, but Minnie has anti-discovery plays -- and those confounded glasses."

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