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Bridge 7/4
After signing, a session of bridge
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    Regular readers will know that on July 4, 1776, four of the declaration signatories repaired to a quiet room to play a game remarkably similar to present-day bridge. After two rubbers, Thomas Jefferson was well ahead. On the first board of the third rubber, John Adams made seven hearts with 150 honors. On the second, Adams went down in a four-spade contract he could have made with the aid of a scissors coup. On the third deal, Jefferson made four hearts with a dentist's coup. This was the fourth deal.
    Against three no-trump, Jefferson led the spade queen. How did the defense prevail?
    Adams saw that once the diamond ace was dislodged, he could run for home. Maybe the defense couldn't or wouldn't cash the club suit.
    Declarer took the first trick on the board with the ace and dropped his six. He was hoping that if West had the diamond ace, he would continue spades, thinking that his partner might have the king. (But as John Hancock mentioned after the deal, if South did not have the spade king, he probably would have held up the ace for two rounds.)
    Now declarer attacked diamonds, West discarding the heart three on the second round.
    Benjamin Franklin saw that South had at least nine tricks ready to run: two spades, two hearts and five diamonds. The defense had to rake in four club tricks immediately. So East took his diamond ace and shifted to the club two. West won with his king and returned the club three to East's ace. Then a club through South's nine-seven into West's jack-eight resulted in down one.
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