You are viewing this article in the archives. For the latest breaking news and updates in Ann Arbor and the surrounding area, see
Posted on Wed, Nov 28, 2012 : 5 a.m.

Bridge column, November 28: The unsavory side in fact and fiction

By Philip Adler

Ken Allan published a bridge whodunit, "Deadly Endplay," in 2011. Now he has produced a part-fact-mostly-fiction book about cheating at bridge, "Shades of Grey" (Master Point Press).

Can you prove cheating from hand records? Why do players cheat when there are no monetary awards? The answers are not clear-cut, having shades of grey. (The author is Canadian.)

There are several bridge deals. Here is one with a card-play point. What happens in three no-trump after West leads the spade 10?

There is no bidding in the book. With its good six-card suit, the South hand is strong enough for a one-diamond opening and two-no-trump rebid.

Three no-trump looks like a walk in the overtrick park, but after winning with dummy's spade queen and calling for a diamond, East's club discard is a nasty blow.

Now there isn't time to establish the diamonds. The defenders will take three spades and two diamonds. Declarer needs luck in hearts and clubs.

In the book, South "won the diamond, went back to dummy, and played the club jack."

I wonder how she got to dummy. A spade to the ace, opening that suit up? Or with a heart, which blocks the suit? Surely she cashed the heart king before playing her second heart.

Then East made a very bad error, covering the club jack with his queen. Declarer put on her ace and down came the king. South arranged to finesse her club seven and took two spades, three hearts, one diamond and three clubs.

** ** **