Page 0014

14 English Bridge June 2019 www.ebu.co.uk

E/W Game. Dealer South.

´ J 10 8 5 2

™ K 6

t K 8 5 4

® 4 2

´ A ´ 3

™ J 9 7 5 2 ™ Q 4 3

t 10 6 t Q J 7 3

® K Q 9 8 3 ® J 10 7 6 5

´ K Q 9 7 6 4

™ A 10 8

t A 9 2

® A

'I've never seen such greasy hair, Hutson,'

declared the Matron, as she took her seat opposite

the two fifth-formers 'You can't have washed it for a

week.'

'I washed it yesterday, Matron,' Hutson replied.

'In the shower after a football match.'

'You didn't use any shampoo or soap, in that case,'

said the Matron. 'Do you want everyone to think

you're a garage mechanic?'

'I put on some Brylcreem afterwards, to keep it

neat,' said Hutson. 'My father uses it. He's not a

garage mechanic.'

'Don't be impertinent,' reprimanded the Matron.

'I've spoken to you about this before. You will wash

your hair tonight and report to me for inspection

tomorrow morning.'

Hutson risked a small shrug of the shoulders and

removed his cards for the first board of the round:

path the auction had taken. 'Yes, if we need it,' he

replied.

The Matron gave a puzzled shake of the head. If

they didn't need Blackwood when bidding a slam,

when on earth would they need it? These boys

always thought they knew better than their elders.

The Matron led the king of clubs and down went

the dummy. 'You bid 4´ on that?' gasped Hutson.

'A jump to 4´ is pre-emptive, isn't it?' Phillips

replied. 'I didn't think you would bid again.'

Hutson won with the ace and soon spotted that it

might be possible to endplay a defender with a

singleton ace of trumps. He crossed to the heart

king and ruffed dummy's remaining club in his

hand. After the ace of hearts and a heart ruff, he

cashed the king of diamonds and led a second

diamond to his ace.

Hoping for the best, Hutson now led a trump.

The Matron won with the bare ace and had no

diamond to play. When she returned a heart, the

young declarer ruffed in the dummy and ditched his

last diamond. 'They're all there now,' he said, facing

his remaining cards.

'A lucky one for them,' the German master

declared. 'If you happen to lead the ace of trumps,

Matron, he has no chance. You can exit safely.'

'You're joking, I take it?' retorted the Matron. 'My

ace was singleton. I'm not leading a singleton

trump.'

'It might save you from a later endplay,' persisted

Götel.

The Matron made no reply. She had never led a

singleton trump in her life and had no intention of

ever doing so, even if it was the ace. Did they not

have books on opening leads in Germany?

A few rounds later, the Matron arrived at the

Headmaster's table. 'Are you doing well?' she

enquired.

'Not particularly,' the Headmaster replied. 'I

didn't mention it, but I passed my 60th birthday a

The Headmaster's Oversight

Bridge Fiction by David Bird

N

W E

S

West North East South

The Neil Stefan John

Matron Phillips Götel Hutson

Pass 4´ Pass 6´

All Pass

'You're not playing Blackwood?' queried the

Matron.

Neil Phillips was not looking too pleased at the

Index

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