Page 0012

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

T

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

protested.

'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

All Pass

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

his contract.

'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

at matchpoints.'

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,'

Hutson added.

Bertie Bellis's Interesting Deal

Bridge Fiction by David Bird

click

link

N

W E

S

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

hearts.'

Index

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