by Géza Ottlik
South to make 6♣ against any defense.
This brilliant construction embodies a number of special features, including a
concept that author Hugh Kelsey termed the
"lunar menace" —
that is, a winner seemingly stranded on the entryless "moon", accessible only
with the assistance of the defenders.
West liked the hand he picked up; he might still have liked it when he found himself on lead against a slam. Little did he know that he was endplayed at trick one!
A red-suit lead would give up a trick in that suit, so west has to lead a
spade. Declarer ruffs with the seven, then advances the
♦9. This effects a Morton's Fork
Coup — a play which gives LHO a Hobson's choice of
grabbing the ace and giving a diamond trick, or holding up to his later disadvantage.
West ducks, the diamond queen wins, and a spade is ruffed with the eight.
♣9 is played to the ace, and the ♣6
is returned. If RHO plays low, dummy wins, ruffs a spade, and draws east's last
trump; if the ♣6 is covered by the queen, declarer wins the king,
plays the three to the five, then ruffs a spade. Either way, east is stripped of
his spade control.
This is the position:
The lead of the last trump forces west to discard a spade in order to guard
the red suits, as dummy sheds a diamond. West is thrown in with the
♦A to lead a heart, but wait! Being no fool, he leads the
♥J to block the suit. Only now does the necessity of
declarer's foresight become evident; winning the heart in hand, south plays back to the
♥10 to enjoy his moon rocks!