My friend the English professor says that Santa Claus must really be a tenured professor.
"You never see him, only his 'assistants'; he travels a lot; he knows nothing of a 40-hour workweek; and he has a staff but gets all the credit himself."
"Maybe he's a bridge player, too," I said. "Ever notice how eager they are to take credit for a good result?"
In today's deal, North-South reached six spades after North raised South's second suit despite three-card support. West led a trump, and South won in dummy with the king.
Before you read on, decide how you would play.
South had only 10 sure tricks. To draw trumps and rely on a 3-3 diamond break was against the odds; nor was South likely to succeed with a crossruff. He decided instead to try setting up one long diamond and ruffing one heart in dummy. To keep control in case trumps broke 4-2, South played a low diamond from both hands.
West won and led another trump, and declarer won with the jack, took the ace of hearts, and ruffed a heart. He came to his ace of clubs, drew trumps, cashed the king of diamonds, and returned to the king of clubs to run the diamonds. Making six.
No other line of play works. Only a club opening lead, if West had a crystal ball, would beat six spades.
"What a great bid of three spades I made," North crowed.