Beware The Dangerous Players 

Beware the Dangerous Players

Looking at this north hand, I thought the opening bid of four spades was obvious not only because of the power of the suit but also because it had little defensive promise if the opponents bid any other suit. When the dummy came down, I was delighted because it could hardly be more suitable, taking care of my heart losers which I could trump on the table and covering one of my club losers with the ace. I was calculating the score with an overtrick in my mind but I didn't calculate the dangers posed by my opponents: in this case, Sidonia DiCostanzo, a delightful Italian lady who recently moved to Boise from Twin Falls and before that from Egypt, and Barbara Chalfant, one of our most faithful players.

My first inkling of danger on the way to disaster was that Barbara put a trump on dummy's ace of clubs after DiCostanzo had led the club king. Chalfant cashed a diamond honor and then switched to a heart. I took my heart ace, trumped a heart on the dummy, and led the diamond queen to trump out Chalfant's other honor, and I still had hope for my contract because after I trumped my last heart, I could discard the club loser on dummy's diamond winner on the way to making five spades. Not so fast! DiCostanzo cruelly trumped my last heart with the spade jack and cashed her club queen for down one, dashing my hopes for an overtrick or even making my contract. Beware the defensive demons disguised as serene ladies!

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