Bridge by Phillip Alder 1-13-92

After fiscal cuts in 1970 stopped the spying activities of Control and Kaos, those two rival TV-sitcom agencies turned to bridge.  After four rubbers, Control led by 10 points.  For the fifth rubber, Control was represented by Maxwell Smart (Agent 86) and the Chief.  Kaos fielded Simon the Likable and Siegfried, the German assassin.

"Simon the Likable," explained the Chief to Max, "is the most ruthless, cunning, evil and treacherous Kaos agent in the entire world -- and a heck of a nice guy."

Simon smiled; it was impossible to dislike him.

On the first deal, Smart overlooked an important defensive play.  After a limit raise by Siegfried, Simon the Likable was in four hearts.  The Chief led the club king, under which Max signaled encouragement with the nine.

Now the Chief had a problem.  Was the nine from a doubleton?  If so, he should continue with the ace and another club, giving Max a ruff.  That would be the only defense if declarer had 3-5-1-4 distribution.  However, if Max had the club queen, the Chief should underlead his club ace at trick two.  Then Max could switch to a diamond, in hope of giving the defenders four minor-suit tricks.

Simon smiled at the Chief.  The Chief continued with the ace and another club.  Simon ruffed, drew trumps and discarded two of his diamonds on dummy's spades to make his game.

"Max, why didn't you play the club queen at trick one, promising the jack or a singleton?  Then it's easy for me to lead a low club at trick two."

    "Sorry, Chief."

    Simon the Likable smiled.

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