Jack Leeder’s Vienna Coup
By Ray Adams
Poor Frank’s friend, Jack Leeder, recently found himself at the helm in an exciting slam contract. He did not know it at the time, but several other bridge buffs bid and made 6NT on this hand. Jack desperately needed a good board and that explains why he tried so hard to make an overtrick on the following hand:
When Jack saw the dummy, he was glad he had bid NT first as it protected him from a spade lead should West hold the king of that suit. West put the jack of diamonds on the table and Jack studied his prospects. If diamonds broke 3-3, he could count 11 top tricks. He would obviously need the king of hearts to be on side, but maybe there was another possibility for an extra trick if West held both missing kings. Jack played the king of clubs at trick two, seeing that clubs were breaking no worse than 3-1, meaning they would run. He then tested the diamonds and discovered they did split evenly as he had hoped. In anticipation of a possible Vienna Coup, he cashed the ace of spades immediately after playing dummy’s last diamond.
Jack then set about running the clubs, carefully noting his opponents’ discards. East seemed to be paying little attention to the proceedings, while West appeared to be having extreme difficulties in his pitches. Jack’s last four cards were a high club, two small hearts, and the queen of spades. Dummy had a small spade and the ace, queen, and nine of hearts left. West had come down to the king of spades and the king, jack, and ten of hearts.
When Jack played his last club, West was in an intolerable position. He had to throw a high spade or totally unguard the hearts. West finally threw the ten of hearts and Jack tossed dummy’s small spade. He then led a heart and took the hook when West’s jack appeared. The king fell on the ace and Jack soon had thirteen winners spread out in front of him.
Jack’s Vienna Coup earned him a cold top on this board and also propelled him into first place. He smiled broadly as he accepted the praise of players like Poor Frank, Lucky Archie, Red Dyeman, and Janet when the winners were announced.