Bridge by Frank Stewart
Unlucky Louie has a big family, and some of his children have become as prolific as Louie and his wife were. Louie's collection of grandchildren is starting to mount.
"Two are coming to visit next weekend," Louie said.
"You'd better childproof your house," I advised.
"I used to try that with some of my children," Louie shrugged, "but they kept finding ways to get back in."
Louie was kidding, I think. But when he was today's declarer, he found himself locked out - of his hand. Louie landed at five clubs. He could have bid 3NT at his last turn since he had two spade stoppers and only fair clubs, but his choice of five clubs was reasonable.
West led a heart, and Louie won with the ace, led a spade to his ace, and let the jack of clubs ride. East took the ace and pondered his next move. He had a choice of losing leads. If East led a spade, Louie would take the king, pick up West's queen of trumps with another finesse, and lose only a diamond to the ace, making five. A diamond return or a low heart by East would have been no better.
But after a mull, East tabled the queen of hearts.
Louie took the king but was locked in dummy. When he led a diamond, East rose with the ace and led a third heart. Louie ruffed, but West overruffed with the queen for down one.
As it happened, Louie could not have made 3NT. He would have made five clubs against most Easts: The queen of hearts was the only lead to beat him. Tough luck, Louie.