An amusing new paperback and e-book is “Bridge With a Twist” by Simon Cocheme (Master Point Press). In 53 chapters covering nearly 200 pages, you are treated to bridge from the bleachers.

The book opens thus: “The first bridge joke I ever heard was ‘How do you defeat an Irish slam?’ Answer: ‘Cash your two aces and sit back and wait for partner to take his trump trick.’”

Here is a deal from the book. First, no, there isn’t a misprint in the diagram. Cocheme points out that in England, a suit containing only the two, five and nine is called a “Hello, Dolly (Parton)” and written 925!

Cocheme was at the Manchester Bridge Club, watching youngsters play. After the simple sequence to four hearts, West led the diamond queen. With all the key cards offside and a probable heart loser, Cocheme was confident that the declarer, Tanya, would go one down.

Author of little faith! Declarer won with her diamond king, cashed the two top hearts, played a diamond to the ace and ruffed the last diamond in her hand. Then she played three rounds of clubs, putting in West. She switched to a spade, and East ducked dummy’s king, realizing that if she took the trick, she would be endplayed. However, Tanya led a trump, endplaying East anyway. She had either to lead a club, conceding a ruff-and-discard, or to play spades.

“Well played, Tanya,” said Cocheme. “I thought you would go down with all of the finesses wrong.”

“I’ve heard the big girls talk about finesses in the playground, but I don’t think we do them until next term.”

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