10 English Bridge April 2016 www.ebu.co.uk
'Did you see the note that I left in your pigeon-hole,
Headmaster?' enquired the Matron, settling herself
into the North chair.
'Remind me what it was about,' the Headmaster
The Matron shook her head disapprovingly.
'Surely you must remember,' she continued. 'I
regard it as a very serious matter.'
The Headmaster waited patiently to hear more.
Was this the time to bring up some mundane topic?
Playing the next board would make more sense.
'The vegetables in the dining hall have been
seriously overcooked recently,' declared the Matron.
'According to Children's Healthcare Weekly, this
completely destroys the vitamin content.'
'Ah yes, I remember now,' replied the Headmaster.
Would her note still be in his wastepaper basket?
Perhaps he had better retrieve it and read beyond
the first few lines.
This was the deal before them:
West North East South
Rev The Head- Stefan
Benson Matron Master Götel
1t Pass 1™
Pass 2™ Pass 4NT
Pass 5™ Pass 5NT
Pass 6™ Pass 7™
The Matron was not an admirer of Roman Keycard
Blackwood, regarding it as unnecessarily
complicated. Stefan Götel used traditional
Blackwood to locate two aces and two kings and
then bid 7™. If the ™K happened to be missing, he
would have to take a trump finesse.
The Reverend Benson led the tQ and Götel won
with dummy's ace, the Headmaster playing an
encouraging t8. It was an excellent contract. If
clubs were no worse than 4-2, he could ruff a club
in the dummy even if the trumps were 4-0. What if
the clubs were 5-1?
The German master soon spotted the solution.
Why were dummy reversals so hard to see? The
English had a phrase to describe it. They called it a
'blinding spot', for some reason. 'Low diamond,
please,' he said.
After ruffing the diamond in his hand, Götel
played the ace of trumps. The 4-0 break came to
light but this would not affect his plan in any way.
He crossed to dummy twice in spades to ruff two
more diamonds in his hand. After drawing trumps,
he was able to claim the contract. 'Dummy's spade
loser goes on my third club,' he said.
'It was a good one for Blackwood,' the Matron
declared. 'Without my two aces and two kings, a
slam would have been hopeless.'
'I had just enough entries to take all the diamond
ruffs and then draw the trumps,' Götel observed. 'If
I don't ruff a diamond at Trick 2, I go down.'
The Headmaster twitched in his seat. 'Surely that
means that you would have gone down on a spade
lead?' he said.
'Yes, yes,' Götel replied.
'Don't tell me now that I should have led a spade,'
the Reverend Benson exclaimed. 'You said you liked
my diamond lead. You gave me the eight.'
'It's a pity they didn't play the contract the other
way round,' the Headmaster replied. 'I would have
found the spade lead, I can assure you.'
A few rounds later, the Matron faced the masters'
top pair, Bertie Bellis and Percy Cutforth. 'Perhaps,
just for once, you could play normal bridge against
Stefan Götel's Raise by David Bird
Love All. Dealer North.
´ A K 7
™ K 10 9 6
t A 9 5 4
® 7 2
´ 8 5 4 2 ´ Q J 10 3
™ - ™ 7 5 4 3
t Q J 10 6 t K 8 7 3
® J 10 8 4 3 ® 6
´ 9 6
™ A Q J 8 2
® A K Q 9 5