The case of the Dubious Double

Perry Mason is a fictional character, a criminal defense lawyer who is the main character in works written by Erle Stanley Gardner. Perry Mason is featured in more than 80 novels and short stories, most of which involve a client’s murder trial. Typically, Mason establishes his client’s innocence by implicating another character, who then confesses. Every Perry Mason story has a title that begins ‘The Case of…..’.

On this deal from the second set of the match between CCBA and Yeh even Perry Mason would not have been able to secure an acquittal for one of the players.



North led a diamond and declarer won in dummy and as on a deal from the first half of the match had to try and locate the jack of spades. A spade to the king was followed by a spade to the jack and South switched to a heart. When the queen held declarer played a club to the nine and South won and returned the king of hearts. Declarer won with the ace, played a club to the ten and cashed the ace of clubs. The appearance of the king meant there were eight tricks, but that was all, -100.


Having decided to pass initially South could not resist getting involved on the next round, but it turned out badly.

East cashed the king of diamonds and switched to a spade. With perfect defence declarer can be held to just four tricks, for example: West wins with the nine and returns a spade, declarer winning and playing a heart. West wins and switches to a club, declarer winning with the queen and playing a second heart. West takes that and plays a club and East cashes two tricks in that suit followed by a spade. In the three card ending East can play any of his reaming cards and declarer, down to CuoriKJ QuadriJ opposite Cuori10 QuadriQ5 cannot avoid the loss of another trick to West’s ]8 {98 – whatever declarer does West discards his heart and will get a trump trick.

However, it generally proves to be difficult to collect all ones tricks in this type of situation and when declarer played dummy’s four on the spade switch West won with the king and returned a spade, so declarer managed a fifth trick, ‘escaping’ for -800.