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October 8, 2000
Two Hands from Destiny at Bay

Two Hands from Destiny at Bay

Victor Mollo is by far my favorite bridge author. His series of books set at the fictional Griffins Bridge Club are classics. Recently another collection of stories has been published in the United States. The following hands are from the book. The book is available from amazon.com

The solutions can be found below.

#1
West North East South
1spade.gif (842 bytes)
2diamond.gif (837 bytes) Double Pass 2spade.gif (842 bytes)
Pass 7spade.gif (842 bytes) Pass Pass
Pass


The Hideous Hog, playing South, is partnered by his nemesis Papa the Greek (North). Papa tries to teach the Hog a lesson by bidding the grand slam and, of course, the Hog prevails by making it after the diamond.gif (837 bytes)K opening lead. Can you see how to make it?

North
spade.gif (842 bytes)K10
heart.gif (841 bytes)AKJ
diamond.gif (837 bytes)A9643
West club.gif (841 bytes)AJ5 East
spade.gif (842 bytes)J9 spade.gif (842 bytes)Q73
heart.gif (841 bytes)1073 heart.gif (841 bytes)9652
diamond.gif (837 bytes)KQJ108 diamond.gif (837 bytes)75
club.gif (841 bytes)972 South club.gif (841 bytes)10843
spade.gif (842 bytes)A86542
heart.gif (841 bytes)Q84
diamond.gif (837 bytes)2
club.gif (841 bytes)KQ6

 

#2
West North East South
Pass 1heart.gif (841 bytes) Pass 4spade.gif (842 bytes)
Pass Double Pass

 

North
spade.gif (842 bytes)K6
heart.gif (841 bytes)KQJ1093
diamond.gif (837 bytes)J10
West club.gif (841 bytes)Q85 East
spade.gif (842 bytes)84 spade.gif (842 bytes)753
heart.gif (841 bytes)642 heart.gif (841 bytes)875
diamond.gif (837 bytes)AKQ743 diamond.gif (837 bytes)92
club.gif (841 bytes)103 South club.gif (841 bytes)KJ976
spade.gif (842 bytes)AQJ1092
heart.gif (841 bytes)A
diamond.gif (837 bytes)865
club.gif (841 bytes)A42

The Hideous Hog, sitting South is faced with a problem. West starts by leading the top two diamonds. East plays the diamond.gif (837 bytes)9 and then the diamond.gif (837 bytes)2 (showing a doubleton). When West continues with a third diamond it appears that though South must go down to defeat (look at the blocked hearts). Having shown up with the diamond.gif (837 bytes)A - diamond.gif (837 bytes)K - diamond.gif (837 bytes)Q of diamonds, West cannot hold the club.gif (841 bytes)K (West passed as dealer). Can you find the same play as the Hideous Hog in order to make the hand?

The answers:

#1

North
spade.gif (842 bytes)K10
heart.gif (841 bytes)AKJ
diamond.gif (837 bytes)A9643
West club.gif (841 bytes)AJ5 East
spade.gif (842 bytes)J9 spade.gif (842 bytes)Q73
heart.gif (841 bytes)1073 heart.gif (841 bytes)9652
diamond.gif (837 bytes)KQJ108 diamond.gif (837 bytes)75
club.gif (841 bytes)972 South club.gif (841 bytes)10843
spade.gif (842 bytes)A86542
heart.gif (841 bytes)Q84
diamond.gif (837 bytes)2
club.gif (841 bytes)KQ6

1- North wins the diamond.gif (837 bytes)A.
2- A small diamond is trumped in the South hand.
3- A heart is played to the heart.gif (841 bytes)A.
4- Another small diamond is trumped in the South hand (East discards a heart.gif (841 bytes) for it does no good to trump).
5 and 6 - Declarer cashes two more rounds of hearts ending in the North hand.
7- Another small diamond is trumped in the South hand (East discards a club.gif (841 bytes) for it does no good to trump).
8 and 9 and 10 - South cashes three rounds of clubs ending in the North hand.

With three tricks to go the last diamond is played from North and this is the situation:

North
spade.gif (842 bytes)K10
heart.gif (841 bytes)
diamond.gif (837 bytes)9
West club.gif (841 bytes) East
spade.gif (842 bytes)J9 spade.gif (842 bytes)Q73
heart.gif (841 bytes) heart.gif (841 bytes)
diamond.gif (837 bytes)Q diamond.gif (837 bytes)
club.gif (841 bytes) South club.gif (841 bytes)
spade.gif (842 bytes)A86
heart.gif (841 bytes)
diamond.gif (837 bytes)
club.gif (841 bytes)

If East trumps low, South overtrumps and cashes the top two trumps for 13 tricks. If East trumps with the spade.gif (842 bytes)Q, then South overtrumps and finesses West out of the spade.gif (842 bytes)J, again for 13 tricks. Note that the hearts and clubs are interchangeable. If East starts by discarding clubs instead of hearts, then South plays clubs first.

#2

North
spade.gif (842 bytes)K6
heart.gif (841 bytes)KQJ1093
diamond.gif (837 bytes)J10
West club.gif (841 bytes)Q85 East
spade.gif (842 bytes)84 spade.gif (842 bytes)753
heart.gif (841 bytes)642 heart.gif (841 bytes)875
diamond.gif (837 bytes)AKQ743 diamond.gif (837 bytes)92
club.gif (841 bytes)103 South club.gif (841 bytes)KJ976
spade.gif (842 bytes)AQJ1092
heart.gif (841 bytes)A
diamond.gif (837 bytes)865
club.gif (841 bytes)A42

This hand is an example where the expert play of the Hideous Hog is outdone by the Rueful Rabbit (abeit for the wrong reason). West begins with two top diamonds on which East contributes the diamond.gif (837 bytes)9 and then the diamond.gif (837 bytes)2. The Hideous Hog (South), from the play, knows that East (Rueful Rabbit) started with a doubleton diamond. When West leads the third top diamond the Hog had a problem. To trump low would mean sure defeat since East would over trump and lead a spade. Since the hearts are blocked declarer could not come to ten tricks. To trump with the king removes the only entry to the North hand. Since the hearts are blocked, again it looks as if South must go down. Since West had already shown up with the diamond.gif (837 bytes)A, diamond.gif (837 bytes)K, and diamond.gif (837 bytes)Q and passed as dealer, he could not also hold the club.gif (841 bytes)K (for surely he would have opened the bidding). The Hog played with his normal expert style. He trumped the third diamond with the spade.gif (842 bytes)K. Cashed two rounds of trump, cashed the heart.gif (841 bytes)A, and then lead the spade.gif (842 bytes)2! East must win this trick and is forced to lead either a heart or club (either way declarer has ten tricks).

The Rueful Rabbit found a way to scuttle the plans of the Hog quite by accident. So sure was he that the Hog would trump low that he already had the spade.gif (842 bytes)7 detached from his hand. When the Hog trumped with the spade.gif (842 bytes)K the Rabbit under trumped with the spade.gif (842 bytes)7! Now the Hog had no escape. If the Hog tried the spade.gif (842 bytes)A followed by the spade.gif (842 bytes)2, West wins and simply continues either diamonds or clubs to assure a defeat. The Rabbit found the only defensive play to guarantee a defeat for declarer ... undertrump at trick three to avoid the end play.

Thanks!
Gary King

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