Page 0013

13

February 2018 English Bridge

www.ebu.co.uk

Game All. Dealer East.

´ A 10

™ 7

t 10 8 7 6 4 3 2

® J 6 2

´ J 9 8 5 3 2 ´ 6 4

™ K 6 ™ A J 10 8 5 4 2

t A t Q J

® Q 10 8 4 ® 9 7

´ K Q 7

™ Q 9 3

t K 9 5

® A K 5 3

West North East South

The Percy Reverend Bertie

Headmaster Cutforth Benson Bellis

3™ 3NT

All Pass

N

W E

S

Halfway through the evening, the Headmaster

faced Bertie Bellis and Percy Cutforth. 'Very

interesting deals tonight,' Bellis observed.

The Headmaster managed a polite nod. The

senior mathematics master said much the same

thing almost every week. It was well known that

deals became more interesting when you scored

well on them. The players drew their cards for this

board:

The Headmaster led king and another heart,

declarer throwing a club from dummy. Benson won

with the ace of hearts and returned the heart jack.

Bertie Bellis won with the queen of hearts and

surveyed the diamond suit. He would need West to

hold the ace of diamonds, clearly, otherwise he

would suffer a torrent of hearts. He could afford to

lose two diamond tricks, so all would be well if the

Headmaster held the tAQ or tAJ. Perhaps he

could find a tiny extra chance.

At trick four, the maths master crossed to

dummy's ace of spades. 'Small diamond, please,' he

said.

When the jack appeared from East, this was the

lowest diamond out. Bellis played the t5 from his

hand, knowing that West would have to overtake.

The Headmaster won with the ace and returned a

spade, declarer claiming the remaining tricks for

+630.

'Interesting deal,' Bellis observed. He turned

towards the Reverend Benson. 'If you play the queen

of diamonds instead of the jack, I might well go

wrong and put on the king. That would be right if

the Headmaster held ace-jack doubleton.'

The Headmaster paused to absorb this

information. 'I was about to make the same point,'

he said. 'The queen of diamonds. That's what we

needed, partner.'

Bellis said no more but a further point occurred

to him. If the Headmaster had discarded the ace of

diamonds on the third round of hearts, that would

have defeated the contract for sure! r

Index

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