12 English Bridge February 2018 www.ebu.co.uk
Game All. Dealer South.
´ J 5
™ 7 6
t A 9 7 6 5 2
® J 5 3
´ Q 8 2 ´ 10 9 7 4 3
™ 10 9 3 ™ J 8 5 4
t K 10 8 t 4
® Q 10 4 2 ® 9 7 6
´ A K 6
™ A K Q 2
t Q J 3
® A K 8
he first round of the school duplicate saw the
Headmaster and the Reverend Benson facing
Hutson and Phillips, who were now half-way
through their fifth-form year.
'Ah, Hutson,' said Benson. 'A very poor essay from
you on The Impact of the Celtic Saints. I marked it
beta minus minus.'
'But it was almost three pages, Sir,' John Hutson
'Two and a half pages of some of the largest handwriting
I have ever witnessed,' continued Benson.
'Very little meaningful content.'
Hutson extracted his cards, finding the best hand
that he had seen for a while.
West North East South
The Neil Reverend John
Headmaster Phillips Benson Hutson
Pass 2t Pass 3NT
Pass 4NT Pass 6NT
The Headmaster shook his head disapprovingly.
It was typical of these boys to assign an artificial
meaning to a bid, whenever possible. The valuable
notion of natural bidding was foreign to them.
Hutson won the heart lead in his hand and played
the queen of diamonds. The Headmaster covered
with the king and dummy's ace won the trick. When
a second diamond was played to the jack, the
Reverend Benson discarded a spade.
Hutson counted his top tricks, finding that there
were only nine available. He would need to make
several more diamond tricks. Could it be done?
There was only one possibility. He played two
more rounds of hearts, all following, and then led a
third round of diamonds. The Headmaster won
with the t10 and had no heart to play. How
aggravating! He would now have to lead from one
of his black-suit queens, with the two matching
jacks waiting in the dummy.
Since there was more chance that declarer held
®AK doubleton rather than ´AK doubleton, the
Headmaster exited with a club. Dummy's jack won
the trick and the remaining diamonds gave declarer
'Wow, that was clever,' exclaimed Neil Phillips.
'Well played, partner!'
'It was appallingly played,' declared the
Headmaster. 'The boy should have ducked the
second round of diamonds, letting my king win.
What could be simpler than that?'
'I had thirteen tricks if your king was doubleton,'
Hutson replied. 'I couldn't throw away that chance
The Headmaster beckoned for the next board to
be brought into position. Some of these boys were
quite foolish when it came to bridge. Did he not
realise that twelve tricks in 6NT would be an
excellent score anyway?
'East might have held a singleton t10 too,'
Bertie Bellis's Interesting Deal
Bridge Fiction by David Bird
The Headmaster led the ™10 and down went the
dummy. 'Surely you need a diamond fit for a slam to
be worthwhile?' he said. 'Four diamonds would have
made more sense than 4NT.'
Neil Phillips nodded his agreement. 'Yes, Sir, if it's
available,' he replied. 'We use that as a transfer for