There have been several jokes starting “I have enough money to last me the rest of my life ...” Jackie Mason’s punch line is “unless I buy something.” Henny Youngman’s is “if I die by four o’clock.” I know someone who seriously claimed that she had so much money she wouldn’t be able to spend it all. However, just over one year later, she was broke. Easy come, easier go.
At the bridge table, you can lose money easily, especially if you pay no attention to the clues available. Today’s deal was sent to me by Jeff Rubens, the editor of The Bridge World magazine.
North’s four no-trump was Roman Key Card Blackwood, the reply showing the heart queen and either two aces or one ace and the heart king. Five no-trump asked for specific kings. Note that North didn’t care that South had one king; he needed to know which king.
Declarer had to establish a club trick on which to discard his spade loser. Normally, one would cash the club king, play to the ace and ruff a club, winning unless an opponent had five clubs. Luckily, South delayed his decision for a moment.
After winning the first trick with dummy’s spade ace, declarer drew trumps and cashed the diamond ace. East was known to have started with seven spades, two hearts and at least one diamond. This meant that West was far more likely than East to have the club queen.
Backing his judgment, South cashed the club king before playing a club to dummy’s jack — success!