18 English Bridge August 2018 www.ebu.co.uk
he Headmaster felt inordinately tired. The
other masters resented the size of his salary,
compared to theirs, but did they realize how
much work his role entailed? Once an ordinary
master had taught for a year or two, he could relax
for the rest of his career, trundling out the same
lessons to different sets of boys. His own days were
packed with arduous and important work from
dawn to dusk. He was also expected to participate in
extra-curricular activities such as bridge, playing in
the school orchestra and cheering various school
football and cricket teams.
'I opened Three Clubs, Headmaster,' said the
Reverend Benson. 'The boy passed and it's your call.'
The Headmaster peered across the table. 'I'm
aware of that,' he replied. 'No bid from me.'
This was the board before them:
Phillips. 'It's a whale of a hand for a protective
John Hutson considered his prospects. He had a
certain loser in diamonds, even after discarding one
on the third round of hearts. How on earth could he
avoid any club losers? 'No, it's not too much,' he
informed his partner.
The fourth-former won the club lead in the
dummy and drew trumps in two rounds. He then
took his three heart tricks, throwing a club from his
hand. 'Small diamond, please,' he said.
The Headmaster won declarer's tJ with the tK
and paused to consider the lie of the diamond suit.
If the boy had started with only tJ-9-x, he would
have played the t9, hoping to force an honour. It
seemed he must have tJ-10-x, in which case a
diamond return from the queen would give him the
The Headmaster was too tired to calculate the
effect of the only alternative, giving a ruff and
discard. With a resigned sigh he returned a fourth
round of hearts. 'Ruff with the six,' said John
The young declarer discarded a diamond from his
hand. He then called for the tA and ruffed a
diamond in his hand. When the suit divided 3-3, he
crossed to the ´J and discarded his last club on the
13th diamond. The slam was his.
The Headmaster caught his partner's eye. 'What
did you have for your vulnerable three-bid?' he
'I had a solid suit only missing the ace,' the
Reverend Benson replied. 'I held a singleton, too.
Why do you ask?'
'Just pass next time, will you?' continued the
Headmaster. 'Hutson only had 7 points. If you pass
and Phillips opens 2NT, there's no way they would
get to a slam.'
'But with seven hearts you'd have opened 3™,
The matron's explanation
Bridge Fiction by David Bird
Game All. Dealer East.
´ A K J 6
™ K Q 6
t A 6 5 3
® A 8
´ 9 4 ´ 8 3
™ J 9 8 7 4 3 2 ™ 10
t K Q 8 t 9 7 2
® 2 ® K Q J 10 7 6 5
´ Q 10 7 5 2
™ A 5
t J 10 4
® 9 4 3
West North East South
The Neil Reverend John
Headmaster Phillips Benson Hutson
Pass Dble Pass 4´
Pass 6´ All Pass
The Headmaster led the ®2 and down went the
dummy. 'I hope this isn't too much,' said Neil