Source: Toledo Blade – 4 Jun 1999

Opening lead: Heart Suit7

The famous Belgian detective Hercule Poirot sipped contentedly at his after-dinner Armagnac. He and his partner and assistant, Capt. Hastings, had done well in the afternoon session of the club championship, and he was enjoying the moment.

“On that hand where we defeated four spades,” queried Hastings, “how did you find that defense?”

“My dear friend,” replied Poirot, “how many times have I told you that good bridge is simply a matter of using those little gray cells and trusting partner. …and there was also the auction to guide me”.

“First, you had made a weak jump overcall of two hearts, so you could not have six hearts headed by the ace-king and an outside ace to boot. To confirm this, after winning the first two heart tricks, your continuation of a third round of hearts denied holding the ace of diamonds”.

“My club holding made it unlikely that we had a trick coming in that suit, so if we were to defeat the contract, we needed two trump tricks. To get them you would have to hold a guarded queen of spades.

Left to his own devices, declarer would surely have tackled spades by leading low to the King — running the jack is unlikely to succeed if trumps are 3-1.

“Once I had all the facts, the solution was obvious. I ruffed the third heart with the ace of trumps! Voila, your queen became the setting trick.”

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