Source: Sarasota Journal – 2 Nov 1971

Apparently some people really covet mental exercise, popular opinion to the contrary. At least they want it when it is just for fun, as in the game of bridge. The declarer had a bit of mental exercise on this deal:

Dealer South. Neither Vul

J 10 3
Q 4
A Q J 2
10 9 8 4

10 8 3
K 10 9 8 6 5
A K 6 5
K Q 8 7 5 2
7 4 3
Q 7 2
A 9 6 4
A K J 9 7 6 2

J 3
West North East South
2 Dbl Pass 4
Pass Pass Pass

Understandably South couldn’t stand for North’s penalty double of West’s overcall and ran out with a high jump. West led his king of clubs, and East had little choice but to signal for a continuation. He would have preferred a small club, but West came on with the ace and then a small club to East’s queen. Declarer ruffed this third club round and now needed only a 2-2 trump break in order to use dummy’s good club and ace of diamonds for spade discards.

Accordingly, he played the ace of hearts and led over to the queen. Unfortunately, the hearts broke 3-1, and he couldn’t he sure which defender was out of clubs in case he tried to use the good club. So he ruffed a diamond and drew the last trump. Now it was a question for Declarer of what to do about the spades. It was up to him to sit still and cogitate. West had already shown up with three hearts and three clubs. Thus West could have only one spade at the most.

If he had a spade honor, he would be end-played and have to lead to the board In diamonds. If he had a small spade or a spade void, East would have to take dummy’s ten or jack and then be on the spot himself. That is, IF Declarer played a small spade from his hand, not the ace. So Declarer did just that and made his contract. He can now go around flexing his mental biceps for all to see.

You say mental biceps are hidden from public view?

True. But the most important person to show muscles to is oneself, and that’s one reason people like bridge exercise.