and he could then have ruffed a club in dummy to
make the contract.
The Matron gave a small sigh. 'On the
information they gave me, I played it very well,' she
said. 'Virtue will have to be its own reward, partner.'
A few rounds later, the Matron faced the staff's
best pair, Bertie Bellis and Percy Cutforth. She
found herself in a slam contract on the first board:
N/S Game. Dealer: South.
´ K 9 7 6 4 2
™ 8 5
® K Q 6 5
´ 10 5 ´ Q J 8 3
™ Q ™ A 6 3
t J 9 7 5 2 t 10 6 3
® J 10 9 4 3 ® 8 7 2
™ K J 10 9 7 4 2
t A K Q 4
West North East South
Bertie Stefan Percy The
Bellis Götel Cutforth Matron
Pass 2t Pass 4™
Pass 6™ All Pass
Bertie Bellis led the ®J and down went the dummy.
'I've asked you not to do that!' exclaimed the
'Sorry?' Götel replied. 'What do you mean?'
'Bidding a slam without using Blackwood,' con tinued
the Matron. 'You won't see me doing that.'
The young German master had to concede on this
point. He could barely remember the Matron ever
bidding a slam.
The Matron won the first trick with the ®A. Since
it was a slam contract, she then paused to make a
plan. The losing diamond could be ruffed in the
dummy, so with any luck there should be no losers
in the side suits. If that was the case, all would
depend on losing just one trick in trumps.
The Matron cashed the tA and ruffed the t4 in
dummy. It was tempting to play the club winners
next, but what could she throw from her hand? All
her remaining side-suit cards were winners, so find ing
a worthwhile discard would be very awkward.
June 2015 English Bridge
'Lead the trump, will you?' she said.
Percy Cutforth followed with a low spot-card and
the Matron lost no time in rising with the king.
When the queen fell on her left, she continued with
the jack of trumps to East's ace. She won the spade
return, drew the last trump and claimed the contract.
'You played it well, Matron,' observed Bertie Bellis.
Many of the boys would have finessed the jack on
the first round of trumps. This would win against a
doubleton queen with East but rising with the king
was better. It would pick up not only a doubleton
ace with East but also a singleton queen with West.
The Matron nodded. 'I was reading an article
about it only last week in Childcare Weekly,' she
replied. 'With eight cards between the hands, Madge
Warner recommended finessing against the queen;
with nine cards you should play for the drop. This
deal rather proves that she was right.'
Bertie Bellis suppressed a smile. 'I wonder what
the great Madge would have led from my hand
against the slam,' he said. 'If I lead the queen of
trumps, Percy can win with the ace and return a
trump. It makes no difference that you can win with
dummy's eight of trumps. The black suits are
blocked and you would have no way to avoid a
diamond loser!' r