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Most bridge books are instructive. Books that focus on the whimsical side of the game are a welcome addition. “It’s All in the Game” by Jeff Rubens and Bob Ewen is a charming collection of stories by two renowned authors.

In a mystery/parody titled “One Murder Is Worth Two Finesses,” South takes the ace of diamonds, leads a trump to West’s ace and wins the spade return. He should next take a high club without drawing trumps, a no-lose play. When West has no clubs but no more trumps, South can cash the king of diamonds and two more clubs and crossruff for the rest.

This book is a celebration of how bridge inspires the imagination. The authors’ sentiment in the Introduction is right on: “If all you get from bridge is winning, you are missing an awful lot.”

“It’s All in the Game,” 240 pages of fun, $28.90 postpaid to the U.S. from The Bridge World, PO Box 299, Scarsdale NY 10583. To subscribe to The Bridge World (a must for aspiring players), see bridgeworld.com.

You hold: ´ A ™ J 10 8 6 2 © A 4 ® A K Q 7 3. You open one heart, and your partner bids one spade. What do you say?

A: This is a headache for “Standard” bidders. If you force with a jump-shift to three clubs, your partner will have K J 5 3 2, 5 3, Q 7 6 5, 8 2, and no game will be makable. If you bid two clubs, he may pass with K 6 5 3, 3, K 7 3, 10 8 6 4 2, and you will miss a slam. There is no answer other than to adopt a different system. I would bid two clubs.

South dealer

Both sides vulnerable

NORTH

´ J 10 6 4 3

™ K Q 4

© K 5

® 5 4 2

WEST EAST

´ K 9 8 7 5 2 ´ Q

™ A ™ 9 7 5 3

© Q J 9 7 6 3 © 10 8 2

® None ® J 10 9 8 6

SOUTH

´ A

™ J 10 8 6 2

© A 4

® A K Q 7 3

South West North East

1 ™ 1 ´ 3 ™ Pass

6 ™ All Pass

Opening lead – © Q