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Lament of the Spade Three

I originally posted this story in Unit 106 (North Jersey) Newsletter in 2004, loosely based on a hand from a nearby sectional.  The original contract was 6NT not 6H, and I spent 4 hours on my computer playing with the spot cards.   I deliberately modeled the story’s style after everyone's favorite "Right Through The Pack'" (1947) by Robert Darvas (and Norman de Villiers Hart.)  I subsequently published it in Bridge World, Feb. 2006 with the title changed to "A Three's Lament.”  Purely for entertainment of fellow Bridge Winner readers, here is "Lament of the Spade Three."

Lament of The Spade Three

After misplaying a hand at the local IMP Pairs game, I went to bed in a fitful state. I picked up my old copy of “Right Through The Pack” by Robert Darvas, and read for 15 minutes to put myself to sleep. Sometime later I was poked in the ribs by the three of spades. “It’s just not fair,” she lamented. “Other cards win tricks and even the four can win a finesse, but I never get to win a trick by rank. At least the deuce knows its place and can always provide an entry to all others, but I wish I could achieve more potential.” I didn’t pay much attention to her lament, after all, it had to be a dream, so I closed my eyes and all disappeared. A bit later the following hand was presented before me:

West
A2
87
J10974
Q1054
North
J98
KQJ10932
2
32
East
Q107654
65
865
K7
South
K3
A4
AKQ3
AJ986
W
N
E
S
2
3NT
P
4
P
4
P
6
P
P
P
D
6 South
NS: 0 EW: 0

East had opened a weak two-bid at favorable vulnerability (Yuch!), South jumped to 3NT, North bid 4 diamonds as a transfer and raised South’s 4 heart bid to 6 hearts. West did well to lead diamonds instead of his partner’s suit. Looking at all four hands I first thought this was hopeless because of the spade position, (West would have led a spade without the Ace) but then I had an epiphany. After winning the diamond I ran 6 (not 7) rounds of trumps. East could afford his two remaining diamonds and two spades, and I pitched all four lower clubs. West could not part with a spade (or I would duck, establishing my king), nor his diamond guard, so had to pitch one diamond and 3 clubs. Now my diamond three had done its work triple-squeezing West, so I crossed to my club ace, played off two more diamonds, pitching the 8 and 9 or spades from dummy while East also pitched 2 spades, and came to the following ending:

West
A2
J
North
J
3
3
East
Q10
K
South
K3
3
D

Now I ruffed the noble diamond three with the heart three, and East had to pitch a spade to save his club king, preventing the club three from scoring the twelfth trick. But lo and behold, now I led the spade jack from dummy and let West win his ace, returning his spade deuce so my spade three could win the last trick, making this slam.

The spade three was crying tears of joy and jumped up to kiss me. “Thank you for the hand of a lifetime, I will always cherish this. I’m now going to treat my most helpful three sisters (pun fully intended) to a round of drinks.” That’s when I woke up. Why can’t I play a hand like this in real life, I lamented!

 

NOTE: For fans of squeeze lexicon, this is a toughy. My best guess would be calling it a “Double Guard Trump Squeeze Without the Count.” (or maybe "Double Guard Steppingstone Trump Squeeze"?)

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