Bridge by Frank Stewart
Cy the Cynic's former occupation, if he had one, is the subject of speculation at my club. Cy won't talk about it.
"You mean he drove a train?" I asked.
"No, a project engineer. I heard him talking about the six phases of a project. He listed them in order: enthusiasm, disillusionment, panic, search for the guilty, punishment of the innocent, and praise for the nonparticipants."
Cy was declarer at today's 3NT, and West led a heart. The Cynic won with the king and led the jack of clubs. East took his ace immediately to return a heart to dummy's ace, and Cy then cashed the king of clubs. When West discarded, Cy took the queen of clubs and tried for his ninth trick by finessing with the queen of diamonds. Alas, West produced the king, and Cy wound up down two.
Could you find a sure line of play to make 3NT?
A careful sequence of play assures nine tricks. After South wins the first heart, he should lead the ace and then a low diamond. If diamonds break 3-2 or if East has K-10-x-x, South is sure of four diamonds, three spades, and two hearts.
As the cards lie, West must play low on the second diamond, and dummy's jack wins. With two diamond tricks in the bag, South leads a club. He is sure of two diamonds, two hearts, two clubs, and three spades.