12 English Bridge October 2019 www.ebu.co.uk
E/W Game. Dealer South.
´ K 10 7 4
™ J 2
t 8 7 4
® 10 9 6 2
´ 6 ´ A 9 2
™ 8 5 4 ™ A 10 9 7 6
t K Q J t 9 2
® K J 8 7 4 3 ® A Q 5
´ Q J 8 5 3
™ K Q 3
t A 10 6 5 3
he fifth-formers, John Hutson and Neil
Phillips, were not displeased to find that they
would face the Headmaster on the first
round. Whether they did well or not, there might be
some sort of story to tell their friends after the
The players drew their cards for this board:
number of tricks. He held off the first diamond and
won the second round with the ace.
When a trump was played to the king, the
Headmaster took his ace and switched to the ®A.
Hutson ruffed and drew a second round of trumps
with the queen, West throwing a club. With one
trump still out, he next played a heart to the jack.
The Headmaster won and played another club,
reducing declarer to the bare ´J.
Hutson played the ™KQ, discarding dummy's last
diamond, and ruffed a diamond with the ´10. He
returned to his hand with the ´J, drawing the last
trump, and claimed the contract.
The Headmaster slumped in his chair and pushed
his personal scorecard to one side, declining to enter
the result. 'Your diamond lead gave it to him,
Charlie,' he declared. 'Lead a club and the boy runs
out of trumps before he can make use of the
'Whether that's true or not, the Good Lord can
hardly have intended me to lead a club,' Benson
replied. 'Not when I was given a KQJ sequence in
Not long afterwards, Hutson and Phillips faced
the masters' top pair, Bertie Bellis and Percy
Cutforth turned towards John Hutson, peering
through his thick lenses. 'Did you hand in your
homework at the end of today's lesson?' he
enquired. 'Your book was missing from the pile.'
'Er... I'm not sure, Sir,' Hutson replied, looking the
Physics master in the eye. 'I'll look in my desk
Bertie Bellis shared a smile with his colleague.
The words 'not sure, Sir' tended to mean only one
thing in the Cholmeley School environment.
This was the deal before them:
A Difficult Defence
Bridge Fiction by David Bird
West North East South
Reverend Neil The John
Benson Phillips Headmaster Hutson
2® 3´ 3NT 4´
Pass Pass Dble All Pass
The Reverend Benson led the king of diamonds
and down went the dummy. 'A king and a dubious
jack, boy?' he exclaimed. 'How can you bid 3´ on
'It wasn't a game-try, Sir,' Neil Phillips replied.
'Your hand contains ten losers,' persisted Benson.
'Eleven, if you add one for no aces. A jump raise
should be stronger than that, whatever bizarre
system you play.'
The Headmaster, who could summon little
interest in the boys' bidding, beckoned for play to
continue. John Hutson could see that he would
need a 3-2 diamond break to make a worthwhile