Page 0014

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

T

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

enquired.

The Matron shook her head resignedly and the

players drew these cards:

John Hutson's Trap

Bridge Fiction by David Bird

N

W E

S

West North East South

Neil Stefan John The

Phillips Götel Hutson Matron

1NT

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

regard.

Index

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