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Back To the Future

  by Richard Pavlicek

Every new year makes me think about the future. Did you ever wonder what bridge would be like in the year 2500 or 3000? Or would it even exist? I’m glad you asked because I just overheard this conversation in a time warp from January of 2598. The deal was from a team game in Los Angeles, China.

South dealsS A Q JWestNorthEastSouth
None vulH K 7 62 H
D J 9 8Pass4 HPassPass
C A K J 5Pass
S 9 8 6 5 2TableS K 3
H 4 3 2H A
D A 5 4 3D 7 6 2
C 2C Q 10 8 7 6 4 3
S 10 7 4
H Q J 10 9 8 5
D K Q 10
4 H SouthC 9

“How did we win on this board?” asked Joe.

“Easy!” said Bill, “We got a club ruff to beat 4 H.”

“Oh, come on!” said Joe. “Against me West led his singleton club, taken in dummy, then a heart went to the ace. East returned a club, but it was pretty simple to ruff and pull trumps. Do you mean to tell me the other declarer discarded on the second club?”

“Yes. And he played correctly — at least in his own generation. You see, I figured it was futile to try for a club ruff, so I tried for a diamond ruff instead.”

“Come on! There’s no diamond ruff,” argued Joe.

“True, but you have to create that illusion. I led the D A and continued with a diamond. As declarer, how would you play now?”

“Amazing. I would be a victim as well. Fearing a diamond ruff, the obvious play is to cash the top clubs and get rid of your last diamond. Ouch! I guess anyone would fall for that one.”

“Well, not me!” chimed Bill. “I’d figure if he really wanted a diamond ruff, he would’ve led a club.”

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© 1998 Richard Pavlicek