Bridge by Phillip Alder 1-14-92

The fifth rubber between the espionage experts of Kaos and the government counterespionage organization, Control, started badly for Control.  Maxwell Smart, Agent 86, had failed to play the right card to guarantee defeating Simon the Likable's four-heart contract.

Max had a chance to level the rubber on the second deal.

After the Chief passed as dealer, Siegfried, the German who runs a prison camp and dog pound somewhere in New Jersey, opened with a weak two-bid in hearts.  This gave Max a problem.  Even though his partner was a passed hand, it was still possible that they could make a slam.  Yet where were all the spades?  He decided to bid the contract he thought he could make:  five clubs.

Simon the Likable smiled as he led the heart nine.  Max won in hand with the ace and immediately led a low trump.  But Siegfried won with the ace and returned a heart.  Simon ruffed and cashed the diamond ace:  one down.

"Oh, Max!" wailed the Chief when he saw Max's hand.

"Don't tell me I could have made five clubs, Chief."

"You could have made five clubs, Max."

"I asked you not to tell me that."

"After Siegfried's opening bid, you know Simon the Likable's lead must be a singleton.  You should win the first trick in the dummy with the heart king, cash the spade ace and discard the heart ace.  Then lead a trump.  They cannot get more than their two minor-suit aces."

"Sorry, Chief."

Both Simon and Siegfried smiled.

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