Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Bridge

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SHOULD Gordon Gecko be playing bridge? This deal from a duplicate tournament earlier this month supplies an answer. With East-West silent throughout, North-South bid as follows:

N S

1'* 1'

2' 4' (end)

The opening lead was the 10 of diamonds and this is what declarer saw:

NORTH

' 8 5 4

'* A 10 9 7 3

'¶ A K

'£ K 7 3

SOUTH

' A J 10 9 3

'* K 5

'¶ Q J 5 4

'£ J 5

East followed with the deuce. A spade lead at trick two from dummy produced the 6, jack and king. West then shifted to a low club.

Declarer was suspicious of the possible gift (if West had the queen and East the ace). It was all too likely that West -- a fine player -- had underled the ace. So he called for dummy's king of clubs, which won.

A second round of spades brought forth the queen from East, West following. Now declarer could already sniff the fragrance of a second overtrick. Three rounds of hearts ensued, South ruffing with the nine as East discarded. These cards remained:

NORTH

' 8

'* 10 9

D A

C 7 3

SOUTH

' 9 3

'*

'¶ Q J 5

'£ J

Declarer paused to analyze. Play a diamond to the ace, ruff the 9 of hearts with the 9 of spades, and push diamonds through West. If the defender ruffed with his last spade, the 7, dummy would overruff with the 8, cash the winning heart as declarer discards his other club, and the South hand is high. If the defender declines to ruff the queen or jack of diamonds, then the 3 of spades is played to dummy's 8 and dummy wins trick 13 with the 10 of hearts.

Boo! West held:

WEST

' K 7 2

'* Q J 6 2

'¶ 10

'£ A 10 8 6 2

Of course, he ruffed the second round of diamonds and cashed the ace of clubs, turning declarer's certain 11 tricks into 10 and altering the result from 80 per cent to a near zero.

For anyone unfamiliar with the film Wall Street, wherein the financier of that name as played by Michael Douglas, made his famous "Greed is good" speech, the Gordon Gecko philosophy may occasionally work out, but here, it failed ignominiously.

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition March 30, 2013 E11

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