One loser too many, but no escape
By Phillip Alder August 9, 2012 6:42PM
Updated: September 12, 2012 6:01AM
A.C. Benson, an English essayist, poet and author who died in 1925, said, “All the best stories are but one story in reality: the story of escape. It is the only thing that interests us all and at all times, how to escape.”
In this week’s deals, declarer has been in a trump contract with one loser more in his hand than he could afford. He has either been able to discard that extra loser on a winner in the dummy, or to ruff it in the dummy, or to discard a loser from the dummy and then to ruff his loser in the dummy. Today’s deal, though, does not fit any of those scenarios. What does South do in seven hearts after West leads the spade king?
North’s auction was agricultural. (The immediate four no-trump contravened one of the rules of Blackwood because he had no diamond control and could not be sure his partner had a first- or second-round control in that suit.)
There are only 12 tricks: one spade, six hearts, three diamonds and two clubs. There seems to be no way to avoid a club loser.
Well, there is just one: run all the winners and hope an opponent makes a wrong discard.
After cashing one spade, six hearts and three diamonds, South retains the spade jack and king-doubleton of clubs. North has three clubs. But what can West keep? He cannot hold the spade queen and three clubs. He has been squeezed. And declarer need not count anything; he just watches for the spade queen. If he has not seen that card, he tries to run the clubs.