14 English Bridge February 2020 www.ebu.co.uk
John Hutson cashed the ®Q at trick two and then
switched to the ™10, giving the impression that he
has no further club to play. The Matron won with
dummy's ™Q and played three top spades, seeking
her ninth trick there. When the suit broke 4-2, she
sat back in her chair. At least one extra trick would
now be needed from the diamonds. How should she
tackle the suit?
A clever idea occurred to the Matron. Since
Hutson had no clubs left, the contract would be a
certainty if she finessed diamonds into the safe East
hand! Even if the finesse lost, the diamond suit
would produce three tricks - enough for the
contract. She glanced across the table, giving her
partner a reassuring smile.
A diamond to the king was followed by a
diamond to the jack and queen. Hutson took a
further trick with the ´J and paused mischievously
for a second or two. When he then produced the
®2, West scored two tricks in the suit and the game
was two down.
'You had another club?' gasped the Matron. 'Why
on earth didn't you play it before? I might have had
ten tricks to take, for all you knew.'
'Sorry, partner, my defence was a bit risky,' said
Hutson. 'Still, it ended up OK.'
'Cholmeley School boys do not use slang terms
such as OK,' reprimanded the Matron. She looked
across the table for support. 'You don't permit such
sloppy Americanisms in German schools, do you?'
Stefan Götel was still thinking about the deal just
played. If West held the ®2, would he not have
played it on the second round? It might then be
essential to tell partner of the five-card suit.
On the penultimate round of the evening's play,
the fifth-formers took their seats against two senior
masters, Bertie Bellis and Percy Cutforth. Most of
the boys resigned themselves to poor scores when
they faced such opposition. Phillips and Hutson
regarded the encounter as a challenge to be relished.
Love All. Dealer South.
´ A 8 7 3
™ Q 6
t A J 10 6
® J 10 8
´ 6 4 ´ J 10 9 5
™ J 7 4 2 ™ 10 9 8 3
t 8 5 2 t Q 7
® K 9 5 3 ® A Q 2
´ K Q 2
™ A K 5
t K 9 4 3
® 7 6 4
he Matron regarded it as her duty to check
the appearance of each boy who arrived at
her table. She looked with some
disappointment at the fifth-former, John Hutson, as
he slumped into the East seat. There was nothing
particular that she felt willing to criticize. How
much better he would look, though, if he paid more
attention to his tie and combing his hair.
'Is anything the matter, Matron?' Hutson
The Matron shook her head resignedly and the
players drew these cards:
John Hutson's Trap
Bridge Fiction by David Bird
West North East South
Neil Stefan John The
Phillips Götel Hutson Matron
Pass 2® Pass 2t
Pass 3NT All Pass
The ®3 was led and John Hutson won with the
ace. What were the prospects for the defence? The
lead of a low spot-card promised an honour, so Neil
had led from four clubs to the king. There was space
for a maximum of one more point in his hand,
possibly the ™J. That wouldn't be much use. It
seemed that he would have to score a trick with the
tQ. Perhaps he could increase his chances in that