"How many roads must a man walk down," Wendy our feminist member asked me, "before he admits he is lost?"

Before I could suggest a figure, Wendy produced today's deal, in which she was dummy. East's queen and nine of spades won, and when South took the third spade, West played the 10, his middle remaining spade, to suggest strength in diamonds, the middle-ranking of the other suits.

South next led a club, doubtless planning to play dummy's nine since he needed only four club tricks, but West put up the jack.

"That was good defense," Wendy said, "but after all, West was a woman. If South played low to keep a link with dummy, West would cash two spades, so South took the ace of clubs."

"And then?" I asked.

"My eminent partner tried the king and queen. When West threw a diamond, South couldn't get his ninth trick."

"Who was South?" I asked.

"The Cynic," Wendy gushed, "and it was just like a man to go down at a cold contract. After he took a second high club and no 10 fell, he could cash his hearts and diamonds and exit with a heart. At trick 12 East would have to lead a club from the 10-8 to dummy's Q-9."

Cy the Cynic, a shameless chauvinist, is not one of Wendy's favorites: I once heard Cy state that it was good for brides to wear white since they'd match the household appliances.

Still, Wendy was being a little hard on Cy's dummy's play. I wonder what she'd have said if he'd tried for the end play and found East with 3-4-3-3 distribution.


South dealer

N-S vulnerable



{spade} J 4

{heart} 6 5 3

{diamond} 8 4 3

{club} A K Q 9 6



{spade} K 10 8 5 2 {spade} Q 9 6

{heart} J 8 {heart} Q 10 9 4

{diamond} Q J 9 2 {diamond} 10 7

{club} J 7 {club} 10 8 5 2



{spade} A 7 3

{heart} A K 7 2

{diamond} A K 6 5

{club} 4 3



1{diamond} Pass 2{club} Pass

3 NT All Pass


Opening lead--{spade} 5


2001, Tribune Media Services

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