North-South vulnerable. South deals.


x8 7

u9 7 4 2

vK 6 2

wK Q 7 6


x10 6 x9 4 2

uA 8 5 uQ J 10 3

v10 9 8 5 vQ J 3

wA J 8 2 w10 9 5


xA K Q J 5 3

uK 6

vA 7 4

w4 3

The bidding:


1x Pass 1NT Pass

3x Pass 4x Pass

Pass Pass

Opening lead: Ten of v

In the golden days of bridge, New York’s bridge clubs were a hive of social activity. Besides bridge experts, you could find titans of industry, leaders in the arts and a host of socialites.

One fine day, composer Sigmund Romberg was in a four-spade contract, and he left a low trump outstanding.

His partner, songwriter Howard Dietz, worried that a defender would ruff and set the contract, started to hum “One Alone,” a hit song from Romberg’s operetta “The Desert Song.” Romberg paid no attention and, sure enough, the defender scored a ruff to set the contract.

Dietz was very upset. “Siggy, I was humming the song from your own operetta!” he fumed. Romberg’s reply closed the subject on the spot: “Who knows from lyrics?” he shrugged.

All this is simply to raise the subject of trumps. By and large you want to draw the opponents’ teeth as soon as possible. But occasionally you need them for other purposes.

Against South’s four-spade contract West led the ten of diamonds. Declarer was looking at two losers in the minors, so two heart losers had to be avoided.

There was no problem if East held the ace of hearts, but what if that card was with West? Declarer could set up a club for a diamond discard if West held the ace of clubs.

Declarer played low from dummy at trick one and East defended well by overtaking with the jack.

South won with the ace and realized that, if he drew trumps, he would have no entry back to hand to lead clubs toward dummy’s honors.

South wasted no time in leading a club, West followed low and the table’s queen won. Declarer returned to hand with a trump to the jack and led another club.

West rose with the ace and played another diamond. Declarer won in dummy with the king, cashed the king of clubs for a diamond discard and led a heart to the king.

That lost to the ace, but the defenders got only two heart tricks to go with the ace of clubs.

2012 Tribune Media Services

Don't Miss a Story

Sign up for our newsletter to receive daily news directly in your inbox.