Bridge by Phillip Alder 7-30-91
Fiscal cutbacks in the early 1970s forced two spy organizations, Control and
Kaos, to cease normal operations. They agreed to continue their rivalry at the
bridge table. After one hand, Kaos led by 100 points, Maxwell Smart (Agent 86) having gone two down in a "cold" three no-trump.
In deal two, the Chief (North) opened two no-trump, showing 21-22 points. Max bid his suits and then used Blackwood to learn that his partner had two aces and four kings. Showing uncharacteristic competence, Max calculated that the club queen was probably missing and that the spade suit was solid. He bid seven spades.
Siegfried, West, led the heart five.
"Think harder over this hand, Max," advised the Chief.
"I can tell you are in danger."
"And loving it."
Max had to find the club queen to make his contract. Leaving the key suit till last, he won the heart lead in dummy and drew trumps, discarding a heart and a club from the dummy. Max played a heart to the dummy’s ace, ruffed a heart in hand and ran his three diamond tricks.
"Chief, the hand has counted out. Shtarker, sitting East, is known to have started with two spades, two hearts and six diamonds. That means he has three clubs, and Siegfried has only two clubs."
Playing with the odds, Max finessed East for the club queen and made his grand slam.
"Well played, Max," cried the Chief.
"Thank you, Chief."