Page 0015

15

December 2016 English Bridge

www.ebu.co.uk

West North East South

Neil Percy John Bertie

Phillips Cutforth Hutson Bellis

1™ Dble

Pass 2™ Pass 2´

Pass 4´ All Pass

Percy Cutforth's 2™ showed a strong hand

opposite his partner's double and Neil Phillips led

the ™Q against the eventual contract of 4´. John

Hutson overtook with the king and the senior

maths master won with the ace. What now?

Two tricks would have to be lost in hearts, so

declarer needed to lose only one trump trick. The

opening bid placed the ´K with East, so leading

towards the ´Q was no good. What would happen

if he played the ´A and then ducked a spade, hoping

to find East with a doubleton king? On the present

deal that wouldn't work either. East would score two

heart tricks and lead a fourth round for partner to

ruff. Was there any other possibility?

A glint came to the maths master's eye - just as it

did when he spotted an elegant solution to some

problem in a maths scholarship paper. How about

leading the ´9 from dummy? If East had begun

with ´K-8 or ´K-7, he would have no answer. If he

played his spotcard, the safe West hand would win

the trick and East's ´K would fall on the next round.

If instead East were to play the ´K, the defenders

would score only one trump trick.

Bertie Bellis crossed to dummy with the tA.

'Nine of spades, please, Percy,' he said.

The ´8 appeared from East and West won with

the ´10. Bellis won the diamond continuation,

drew the outstanding trumps and claimed the

contract for the loss of one trump and two heart

tricks.

'Wow, what a play!' exclaimed John Hutson.

'Would you have found it if I hadn't opened the

bidding. I only had 10 points.'

The two masters exchanged a smile. 'Do you

know what?' said Bertie Bellis. 'I'm not sure that I

would have done.'

'I wouldn't normally open on my hand,' Hutson

continued ruefully. 'I thought if I gave you a clear

run in the bidding, we'd get a bad board anyway.'

For the second year in a row the Masters had won

the match, this time by a full 39 IMPs.

'Several excellent boards on your card, Stefan,'

observed the Headmaster, as the players enjoyed a

post-match cup of tea and a slice of chocolate cake.

'You did well.'

'I did make a couple of small slips,' Götel replied.

'It was the Matron, here, who pulled us through.'

The Matron smiled at her younger partner. 'Kind

of you to say so,' she replied. 'Playing in such an

important match, well, it seems to bring out my

competitive spirit!' r

Game. Dealer East.

´ Q 9 5 4

™ 8 6 4 3

t A 4

® A K 9

´ J 10 7 ´ K 8

™ Q ™ K J 10 9 2

t 9 6 5 3 2 t Q J 10 8

® 7 6 4 2 ® 8 3

´ A 6 3 2

™ A 7 5

t K 7

® Q J 10 5

N

W E

S

PREMIER GRAND MASTER

Congratulations to

DR MALCOLM COPLEY OF YORKSHIRE

on becoming a Premier Grand

Master, the English Bridge

Union's highest rank, requiring

a minimum 1,500 Green Points

Index

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