It is an easy step to take well-known fictional characters and turn them into bridge players. This has happened, for example, with Robin Hood and Star Trek. Other entertaining books have featured animals and monks. The latest in this genre is "If I Only Had a Heart" by Alex Adamson and Harry Smith (Master Point Press). The authors are Scotsmen who have drafted characters from the Wizard of Oz.

In this deal from the book, what should West lead against six hearts?

The auction was lengthy. The Scarecrow (North) might have rebid four hearts. The Lion (South) control-bid four clubs (why not three spades?). Then, after two more control-bids, North used Roman Key Card Blackwood. South, knowing they had a 10-card fit, said he had two key cards (two aces, or one ace and the heart king) and the heart queen. North, in a haze of confusion, signed off in six hearts.

After a short pause, the Tin Man led a sneaky heart five.

Now the spotlight moved to South. Since all of the side suits were solid, success depended on getting the trump suit right. The Lion knew that the percentage play was to finesse West for the queen, but surely West would not have led away from the queen. So, declarer called for dummy's heart king and went down one.

Note that it is usually reasonable to lead the trump ace from this holding, but not on this deal, because West knew East had a heart void.

Winners

Bismarck Duplicate Bridge Club winners are: Ron Gerhardt and Mark Hanlon; Barb Lennington and Renee Hill; Ernest Godfread and Dee Gunsch; Mark Hanlon and Sherri Dickson; Beverly Grebner and Dee Gunsch; Mark Hanlon and John Juba.

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