Almost Bridge 7E08   Main

Discovery Reveals Origin of Bridge

  by Richard Pavlicek

The Western World was stunned by an incredible discovery made public last week. Egyptian archaeologists, in a new excavation only two miles from the tomb of Tutankhamen, uncovered artifacts that have a direct bearing on the heritage of bridge.

According to project coordinator, Awadar Habir, “Over a two-month period we unearthed 17 clay tablets. All have been authenticated by electrophoresis and radiocarbon tests, and we welcome verification by outside experts. We are now in the process of deciphering the writings, which are hieroglyphics of the 18th dynasty.”

At this writing the United States has officially accepted Mr. Habir’s invitation. A team of Egyptologists, headed by Clayton Chernak, Ph.D., of Harvard, will leave Tuesday to participate in the findings. I have been invited as a bridge expert — have shovel, will travel. It sounds exciting.

Habir divulged that the first four tablets contained a treatise entitled “Tut’s Bridge Complete,” which included many card diagrams followed by explanations. He released the following diagram because the explanation had become fossilized by Tana leaves and the translators were puzzled.

S win 5 S A J 7
D 7 6 5
S Q 9 8
H Q 9 8
Table S
D Q 9 8
C Q 9 8
South leadsS K 10 5 4
C 7 6

Tutankhamen wrote that five of the six tricks must be won with spades trump and South to lead; but from that point on it was indiscernible. Can you solve the mystery?

Tut’s Solution

There is just one solution. Tutankhamen played a spade to the ace. (The finesse wasn’t discovered until centuries later.) He then led a diamond and trumped with the spade ten. West must overruff and return a trump — else the solution is easy — and North’s jack is played. Then: (1) If East keeps only one diamond, a diamond ruff establishes the North hand; (2) if East keeps only one club, South overtakes with spade king to ruff a club and establish the South hand.


Almost Bridge 7E08   MainTop   Discovery Reveals Origin of Bridge

© 1988 Richard Pavlicek