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The giveaway

July 04, 1960
July 04, 1960

Table of Contents
July 4, 1960

Yesterday
Double M
Bermuda Race
  • In much the same weather as the 1958 race, but with flatter calms after the start and more violent storms at the finish, Carleton Mitchell and his matchless crew (shown at right) mane uvered the 38-foot 8-inch yawl to an unprecedented third consecutive victory in the Bermuda race. In doing so, they beat a record fleet of 135 of the finest yachts in ocean racing today. Here is Mitchell's own story of "Finisterre's" drive to the island, written from notes and entries made by the author during the 635-mile passage

Spectacle
Track
Food
Boxing
Horse Racing
Motor Sports
Shooting
Acknowledgments
19th Hole: The Readers Take Over
Pat On The Back

The giveaway

Unexpected gifts have carried an implied warning to beware ever since the Greeks parked their wooden horse outside Troy's gates. Nevertheless, the giveaway remains a highly successful device, especially in bridge when, by deliberately giving an opponent a trick, you leave him no alternative but to go wrong. This beautiful play is rare, however. Not only must you recognize that you will gain by tossing a trick out as bait—you must recognize it instantly. The slightest hesitation will give you away along with the trick. In the following deal Lee Hazen proved himself a master of this tactic.

This is an article from the July 4, 1960 issue Original Layout

After North's encouraging responses, South used Blackwood to check for controls. When he found North with an aceless hand, he took the gamble that partner had some sort of club fit—either the queen or a short suit—or could furnish enough trick-winning material in the red suits to take care of a possible club loser.

It was not an unreasonable gamble, and when dummy's cards were put down it appeared that the gamble would pay off. And it would have against a less astute defense.

Hazen, with the weak West hand, elected to open a trump and dummy's 8 won the trick. Declarer led a low club from dummy, planning to cash his ace and king and ruff one or, if necessary, two clubs with dummy's remaining trumps, a plan that would have succeeded admirably if declarer had pursued it. After ruffing the third club, declarer would return to his hand with the ace of diamonds and trump a fourth club with dummy's queen of spades. Getting back to his hand by trumping a diamond, declarer would draw West's remaining trumps. His last club would be good and in the end he would concede one trick to the ace of hearts and make his slam.

But then Hazen trotted out a Trojan horse. On the very first club lead, he dropped the queen!

Put yourself in South's place. He had to assume that if he led another club, West would trump dummy's jack. Then the defenders could also cash the ace of hearts to set the slam. On the other hand, if South drew the trumps he would prevent West from getting a ruff. Then if the hearts were favorably placed, that suit might be made to furnish declarer two club discards and he'd be home free.

So South drew trumps and played his heart. West played low, and after agonizing over whether to finesse for the jack by letting his 9 ride, South put up the queen. East won and returned a diamond, which South won with the ace. Two more rounds of trumps squeezed no one. Declarer then led to dummy's club jack and discovered West's deceit. He took one club discard on the king of hearts but that left him with the ace and 9 of clubs while Hazen held the 10-6. Hazen won the eventual setting trick with the 10 of clubs—a feat that would have been impossible had he not sacrificed the queen.

EXTRA TRICK
A trump, usually a poor lead against a slam bid, is often a good lead when you hold strength in the second suit declarer has bid. Note that if West had opened a heart, declarer could allow the lead to run to his 9-spot and later take a ruffing finesse against East's ace. With that play, even Hazen's brilliant false-card in clubs could not have succeeded in setting the contract.

PHOTO

Both sides vulnerable South dealer

NORTH

[Queen of Spades]
[9 of Spades]
[8 of Spades]
[King of Hearts]
[Queen of Hearts]
[10 of Hearts]
[7 of Hearts]
[Jack of Clubs]
[3 of Clubs]
[10 of Diamonds]
[7 of Diamonds]
[6 of Diamonds]
[2 of Diamonds]

WEST

[5 of Spades]
[3 of Spades]
[2 of Spades]
[8 of Hearts]
[6 of Hearts]
[3 of Hearts]
[Queen of Clubs]
[10 of Clubs]
[6 of Clubs]
[5 of Clubs]
[Jack of Diamonds]
[9 of Diamonds]
[4 of Diamonds]

SOUTH

[Ace of Spades]
[King of Spades]
[Jack of Spades]
[10 of Spades]
[6 of Spades]
[4 of Spades]
[9 of Hearts]
[Ace of Clubs]
[King of Clubs]
[9 of Clubs]
[8 of Clubs]
[7 of Clubs]
[Ace of Diamonds]

EAST

[7 of Spades]
[Ace of Hearts]
[Jack of Hearts]
[5 of Hearts]
[4 of Hearts]
[2 of Hearts]
[4 of Clubs]
[2 of Clubs]
[King of Diamonds]
[Queen of Diamonds]
[8 of Diamonds]
[5 of Diamonds]
[3 of Diamonds]

SOUTH

2 [Spade]
4 [Club]
4 N.T.
6 [Spade]

WEST

PASS
PASS
PASS
PASS

NORTH

3 [Spade]
4 [Heart]
5 [Club]
PASS

EAST

PASS
PASS
PASS
PASS

Opening lead: spade deuce