February 2020 English Bridge
N/S Game. Dealer West.
´ J 6 5
™ A 10 8 2
t 9 7 4
® 9 5 3
´ 7 ´ 9 8 4 2
™ K Q 9 7 6 4 ™ -
t J 3 2 t K Q 10 8 6
® J 10 4 ® Q 7 6 2
´ A K Q 10 3
™ J 5 3
t A 5
® A K 8
West North East South
John Percy Neil Bertie
Hutson Cutforth Phillips Bellis
2™ Pass Pass 4´
Bertie Bellis smiled at his partner 'We're in
trouble here, Percy,' he said. 'These are the boys who
doubled you in Five Diamonds last week.'
John Hutson laughed. 'Not too difficult with the
trumps I held,' he observed.
This was the deal before them:
John Hutson led the king of hearts and down
went the dummy. Bertie Bellis surveyed the dummy
as if it were part of an A-level maths problem. What
would happen if he played dummy's ™A at trick
one? If West held six hearts for his weak two, the ace
would be ruffed. He could win the diamond return,
draw trumps and play the ™J, but West would then
cut him off from the dummy by holding up the ™Q.
That would be one down, with a trick to be lost in
each suit. 'Play the two, please,' said Bertie Bellis.
East discarded a diamond, declarer following
with the ™3. When West continued with the ™7,
Bellis played low from dummy. East ruffed and
declarer unblocked the ™J from his hand.
The contract was now secure. Bertie Bellis won
the tK return, drew trumps in three rounds and
finessed the ™10. He discarded his diamond loser
on the ™A and eventually conceded a trick in clubs,
'Well done, Bertie,' said Cutforth. He surveyed the
score sheet. 'Several pairs went down in the spade
'I needed your ™8,' Bellis observed. 'With only
™A1072 in the dummy, Hutson could beat me by
continuing with the ™Q at trick two.'
Cutforth raised an eyebrow. 'Is that right?' he said.
'I would cover with the ace, ruffed by East,' Bellis
continued, 'but there would then be no point in
unblocking the ™J from hand. West would have ™98
against dummy's ™107. I'm sure a promising player
like young Hutson would have found that defence.'
'I might have done, Sir,' Hutson replied. 'In my
dreams, anyway.' r
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held on 27 November, and will serve a threeyear
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