Page 0016

16 English Bridge August 2017 www.ebu.co.uk

I

t was the last duplicate of the school year and

there were 14 tables in play, thought to be a new

record. The first round saw the Matron and

Stefan Götel facing two fourth-formers.

'Are you two looking forward to the holidays?'

enquired the Matron.

'Not really,' John Hutson replied. 'I'm going to

miss Mr Götel's German lessons.'

'Don't let that worry you,' continued the Matron.

'Mr Götel will still be here when you return in

September.'

An amused Stefan Götel drew his cards for the

first board. 'I feel sure that young Hutson is er...

pulling our legs, as you say,' he observed. 'He does

not show much aptitude for the German language.'

The Matron looked sternly in the youngster's

direction. 'You shouldn't say things that you don't

mean,' she reprimanded.

This was the deal before them:

The German master led the ™Q, the Matron

playing her ™9 with an encouraging smile. John

Hutson held up his ace on the first round and again

when a low heart was played to East's king. The

heart suit was cleared and Hutson then led the t10

from his hand, calling for dummy's t5.

The Matron spent a moment considering her play

to this trick. Stefan had played the t8. If that was a

high-low from a doubleton, declarer would have

three diamonds and she would have to hold up her

ace for two rounds, just as declarer had done. She

played the t2 with somewhat of a flourish, as if she

had made rather a special play.

When Hutson continued with a diamond to the

king, Götel followed with the t6. The Matron

nodded happily. Yes, a definite high-low. If that

didn't show two diamonds, she didn't know what

would. As if adding the final brushstroke to some

mediaeval masterpiece, she produced another low

diamond. 'Play a club,' said John Hutson.

A finesse of the ®J lost and West cashed a heart

trick. Hutson won the club return and claimed.

The Matron looked down at the four defensive

tricks before her. 'We never made my ace of

diamonds!' she exclaimed. 'It was such a good

defence and then the boy goes and spoils it by

making 3NT anyway.'

'Yes, but we play match-points,' Stefan Götel

replied. 'If you don't hold up the diamond ace, he

would make ten tricks instead of nine.'

'I dare say you're right, as the cards lie,' said the

Matron. 'It's still rather annoying not to make a

trick with my ace.'

The rounds ticked by and with just one round to

go, Stefan Götel totted up the estimates on his

scorecard. A small fraction above average, as usual.

The Matron was a pleasant enough partner but

perhaps, next year, it would be good to have a game

or two with someone better. He had almost

forgotten what it felt like to score around 65%.

The Headmaster's Reward

Bridge Fiction by David Bird

click

link

Love All. Dealer South.

´ 8 6 2

™ 8 7 3

t K Q J 9 5

® 7 5

´ 9 7 4 ´ J 10 5 3

™ Q J 10 4 ™ K 9 5

t 8 6 t A 7 2

® Q 9 4 2 ® 8 6 3

´ A K Q

™ A 6 2

t 10 4 3

® A K J 10

N

W E

S

West North East South

Stefan Neil The John

Götel Phillips Matron Hutson

2NT

Pass 3NT All Pass

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