Bridge by Phillip Alder 7-31-91

Early in 1970, Control and Kaos, those well-known spy organizations, had to forgo operations after financial cutbacks. Instead of spying, they continued their fight --goodness and niceness vs. evil-- at the bridge table.

The first rubber began well for Control. Maxwell Smart, Agent 86, brought home a grand slam on deal two. Kaos had a chance to recover ground on hand three, Shtarker becoming the declarer in four hearts after a straightforward auction (The positions have been shifted so declarer can be South.)

Max, West, led the spade queen. Shtarker won in hand and detached a low heart, but then he spotted the problem. If he led a trump immediately, the defense would win that trick and lead another spade. Then when he lost the lead in either minor, they would be able to cash a spade trick. Instead he led the club three, Max signaling with the two and dummy playing the queen.

The Chief paused to consider his play. It looked right to win with the ace and return a spade, but perhaps Shtarker had K-J-3 of clubs. In that case he would get a spade discard. Assessing the situation correctly, the Chief played the club four.

Shtarker led another club, but the Chief won with the ace and returned a spade to dummy’s king. Shtarker called for the heart jack, but the Chief put up his ace and led a third spade.  Max won that trick and cashed the diamond ace to defeat the game.

"You idiot, Shtarker," cried Siegfried.  "Eef only you vin zee first trick in zee dummy, you haf an entry to your hand viz zee spade ace to pitch your loser on zee zird club."

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