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May 19, 2024 – Mercury news

“Here’s the deal, my boy,” said the Ethiopian king Cepheus to the young hero Perseus. “Make six spades in this market and marry my daughter, the beautiful Andromeda. If you fail, we’ll feed you to that sea monster, Cetus, that we’ve been having trouble with. You see, Queen Cassiopeia was vain enough to compare her beauty to that of the Nereids, and Poseidon was very upset.

“West leads the eight of diamonds.”

Perseus examined the arrangement. He saw 10 sure tricks: five trumps, three hearts and minor suit aces. There is no doubt that the cards were misplaced: the missing hearts did not break evenly and the two minor-suited kings were wrong.

Perseus took the ace of diamonds and ruffed a diamond with the ace of trump, preparing to overthrow the dead man. He led a trump to dummy’s eight, cut a high diamond and led a trump to nine, relieved to see East-West follow suit. He cut the last diamond, returned to dummy with the queen of hearts and drew the missing trump with the jack.

Perseus then took the AK of Hearts. When West moved aside, Perseus came out with his fourth heart and East had to lead a club from his king, conceding the 12th trick. Other winning lines of play were possible – even if declarer simply drew trump, the East would be in trouble due to the gaps – but Perseus’ line was elegant.

“Not bad,” Cepheus admitted. “By the way, I forgot to mention that right now, Andromeda is chained to a rock at the edge of the coast. The oracle said we had to sacrifice her to Cetus to save the day. So, what’s your record against sea monsters?

South Dealer

BORN. vulnerable

NORTH

SJ 9 8

HQ 7 4

DAQ10 4

CAQ4

WEST

S 6 3 2

H 10 2

D 8 7 6 5

JC 9 8 7

EAST

S 7 4

HJ 9 6 5

DKJ 9 3

CK6 2

SOUTH

SAKQ 10 5

HAK8 3

J2

C 10 5 3

South West North East
1 Pass S 3 Pass NT
4H pass 4S pass
6 S Pass all
Opening lead — D 8

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