'Oh no, you don't have another diamond!' ex claimed
the Matron when the t5 appeared on the
table. If she discarded yet another heart, the
Headmaster would throw dummy's last club and
score two further trump tricks. She eventually
decided to ruff with the ´9 and the Headmaster
overruffed with dummy's ´10. He then played a
club to the king, which the Matron ruffed with the
´Q. The Headmaster scored his last two trumps
separately and the slam was his.
'That's made my headache even worse,' exclaimed
the Matron. 'How did you know Charlie had two
aces, Headmaster? You didn't use Blackwood.'
The Headmaster was busy making a note of the
deal. If the editor of the school magazine knew what
was good for him, he would surely find space for it
in the end-of-term issue.
A few rounds later, the Matron faced Bertie Bellis
and the head of the physics department, Percy
Cutforth. This was the first board they played:
Love All. Dealer: South.
´ K 8
™ K Q J 4
t K Q 7 6
® A 9 8
´ J 9 4 2 ´ 10 7 6
™ 10 8 6 5 ™ 3
t 3 t 10 9 5 4 2
® K Q 10 7 ® J 6 5 2
´ A Q 5 3
™ A 9 7 2
t A J 8
® 4 3
West North East South
The Percy Stefan Bertie
Matron Cutforth Götel Bellis
Pass 2® Pass 2™
Pass 3´ Pass 4t
Pass 4NT Pass 5®
Pass 7™ All Pass
'Would you like me to explain the bidding?' asked
Bertie Bellis. 'Percy's 3´ was a slam-try, agreeing
hearts as trumps.'
'There's no need,' replied the Matron, placing the
t3 on the table.
Bertie Bellis inspected the dummy. There were
December 2015 English Bridge
twelve top tricks on display and a spade ruff in
dummy would make thirteen. Excellent! He won the
diamond lead with the jack and played the king and
queen of trumps, East showing out on the second
round. He continued with the king and ace of
spades, ruffing a spade with dummy's ™4. After
playing the ™J, all that remained to be done was to
return to his hand to draw the last trump. When he
attempted to do this, the Matron ruffed the tA. The
grand slam was one down.
The Matron chuckled to herself. 'I still had a
trump left!' she informed Bertie Bellis tri umphantly.
'Unlike you to make a mistake like that.'
'No, you made an excellent opening lead, Matron,'
Bertie Bellis replied. 'I'm pretty sure I can't make it
after you lead a diamond.'
'I've Madge Warner to thank for that,' the Matron
replied. 'It's one of her Golden Rules to lead a
singleton against a slam.'
Percy Cutforth inspected the scoresheet. 'Only
one other pair bid the grand,' he reported. 'They
made it on a club lead.'
'Must have been one of the younger boys,' ob served
the Matron. 'I can't imagine any experienced
player failing to lead a singleton!' r
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