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AUG_08_EB_p45 North.qxd 16/7/08 10:28 am Page 41

The ‘Henry VIII’



DO you ever get the feeling that finesses and had already shown up with 11 points

seem to conspire against you and when (ace and king of hearts, king of spades and

you particularly want one to be right, it jack of diamonds) so he couldn’t have any

isn’t? Well, that was South’s complaint on more. (Pass as dealer on thirteen points? Freddie North

the following deal: Whatever next!)

It is equally clear that East must hold

more than a doubleton club, so playing for West North East South

Love All. Dealer West. the drop was out. Could anything be done? 1♠

♠J986 Yes, a little fine-tuning might well achieve Pass 2♠ Pass 3♥

♥ 10 6 2 the desired result. Blessed with the nine Pass 4♠ End

♦AQ4 and eight of clubs, declarer plays the jack

♣KJ8 of clubs from dummy on the first round, As West you lead the ♦A, partner follow-

♠ K32 ♠5 flushing out the queen. Sometimes East ing with the two and South the queen.

♥ AK85




♥Q974 will refuse to cover, in which case there is What should you play at trick two?

♦ J 10 9 S ♦8753 no further problem. But let us say East does Realising that declarer would probably

♣ 10 7 4 ♣Q652 in fact cover with the queen. The ace wins need to ruff hearts in dummy, perhaps

♠ A Q 10 7 4 and now a second club is led towards you switched to a trump. Good thinking!

♥J3 dummy trapping West’s ten under the king- Anything else and declarer romps home

♦K62 eight. The point is that whereas West could with five spades, one heart, three heart

♣A93 not have the queen of clubs, there is no ruffs and the ace of clubs. But there is a

reason at all for him not to have the ten. very important factor involved in this

A very different type of fine-tuning is case: your special piece of fine-tuning

West North East South required on this next deal: demands that you play the queen of trumps!

Pass Pass Pass 1♠ The point is that one of the small trumps

Pass 3♠ Pass 4♠ certainly prevents the third ruff in dummy

End E/W Game. Dealer South. but it also loses the queen in the process;

♠ J 10 4 thus declarer makes six spades, one heart,

Despite the Losing Trick Count heralding ♥5 two heart ruffs and the ace of clubs. By

serious doubts about making ten tricks, ♦9643 contrast, when you play the queen of spades

South was quite pleased to have bid the ♣AJ974 your nine gets promoted to winning rank.

game. Superficially at least it seems to ♠ Q92 ♠3 Declarer still manages two heart ruffs but

depend on one of two finesses (good ♥ K 10 8 7 3 W N E ♥ J 2 unless he reads the exact distribution – and

odds!), the king of spades or the queen of ♦ AKJ8 S ♦ 10 7 5 2 West can make it difficult by false-carding

clubs being well placed. ♣ 5 ♣ K Q 10 8 3 2 in diamonds – he will lose one spade, one

West started with three rounds of ♠AK8765 diamond and two hearts.

hearts, declarer ruffing the the third one. A ♥AQ964 I don’t think this particular play has a

diamond to dummy paved the way for the ♦Q name but sacrificing the queen in such an

losing spade finesse, West exiting with a ♣6 ungallant manner perhaps deserves the

second trump and East discarding a heart. title of ‘The Henry VIII Coup’!

Declarer drew West’s last trump, East

discarding a diamond, and then cashed

two more diamonds ending in dummy. It STOP PRESS – SUMMER SENIORS CONGRESS

was at this point that declarer ‘had a nasty

AS a result of the strength of feeling shown at Eastbourne over the proposal to

feeling that the club finesse was wrong,’ combine the Southern and Northern Summer Seniors Congresses and to relocate

but took it nevertheless. The ace of clubs, to Birmingham, the Tournament Committee has reversed its decision and confirms that the

and then a club to the jack, duly resulted Summer Seniors Congress will continue to be held at Eastbourne. The 2009 Congress will

in minus 50 and fully justified South’s take place from 10 to 12 July (one week later than the date proposed for Birmingham). In view

worst fears. of the poor support for the Northern Congress this year, the viability of that event will be

Well, the queen of clubs had to be reviewed by the Committee at its next meeting but no such event will be held in 2009.

wrong, didn’t it? West had passed originally August 2008 English Bridge 41


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