Open­ing lead - king of clubs

It took Sylvia a long time to learn point count. This was not be­cause she op­posed point count as a mat­ter of prin­ci­ple there

was more to it than that. The truth of the mat­ter was that Sylvia held the cu­ri­ous no­tion that you mea­sured a hand by the num­ber of tricks you could take, so that count­ing the num­ber of points you held was in ef­Fect an ex­er­cise in fu­til­ity.

Take this hand with which most mem­bers of the club, as South, would ei­ther pass or open three spades. But Sylvia ap­praised her hand dif­fer­ently. She felt she’d make lots of tricks with spades as trumps, so she opened one spade.

West over­called with two clubs, which was fol­lowed by a blood­cur­dling dou­ble by North. Af­ter Sylvia then blithely jumped to four spades with her six high-card points, North can hardly be blamed for rais­ing her to six.

It’s easy to see that Sylvia had to lose a spade and a di­a­mond for down one. But de­feat never oc­curred to her. She rolled mer­rily along, tak­ing tricks left and right, un­til she fi­nally had 12 of them.

She trumped the club lead, led a spade to dummy’s six and ruffed an­other club. A heart to the queen and a club ruff were fol­lowed by a heart to the ace and an­other club ruff Then, af­ter lead­ing a di­a­mond to the king, Sylvia trumped dummy’s last club. Now she led the ace and an­other di­a­mond, los­ing to East’s queen. This left her with two cards - the 0-1 of spades - while West had the K -4 and dummy the ace of spades and nine of di­a­monds. When East re­turned a heart, Sylvia ruffed with the jack, and West’s seem­ingly in­vin­ci­ble trump trick went up in smoke. Mid­lands Bridge Club, 12 April 1. J. Kelly and C. Birch; 2. F. Brad­ford and P. Nijs; 3. H. Smith and H. Bruce. Am­ber­glen Bridge Club, 12 April Blue Boards: 1. Pam Pot­ter and Bar­bara Green; 2. Peter McClurg and Gor­don Flower; 3. Rod­ney Fann and Marge De­war. Yel­low Boards: 1. Beryl Telfer and Brenda Sy­mons; 2. Pauline and Dave Tom­lin­son; 3. Cyn­thia Rug­giero and Rowena Wilkin­son.

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