Country Life Every Week - - Crossword Bridge - An­drew Rob­son

Wro­claw (pro­nounced Vrotswaf) was the venue for last Septem­ber’s Mind Sports Games. The bridge of part­ner Tony For­rester and I was mostly fairly com­pe­tent, although we did go for three ab­surd 1,100 penal­ties.

Here are two in­ter­est­ing Five Club con­tracts, the first from Eng­land v Bos­nia Herze­gov­ina.

De­clarer won West’s open­ing Spade lead with dummy’s ace and led a Club to the Queen, the fi­nesse suc­ceed­ing. He now sought to do some­thing with dummy’s Hearts, cash­ing the ace, cross­ing to the King and ruff­ing a third Heart, pleased to see the even split.

De­clarer had a strong feel­ing East held the three re­main­ing trumps—be­cause of his trance over Five Clubs. He con­tin­ued on that ba­sis. at trick six, he ad­vanced the Queen of Di­a­monds. West nat­u­rally cov­ered with the King (although, in fact, if he plays low, the con­tract is de­feated, as de­clarer is robbed of a sec­ond Di­a­mond en­try to dummy). Win­ning dummy’s ace, de­clarer led a win­ning Heart.

East had to ruff this Heart or de­clarer would shed his los­ing Spade. De­clarer dis­carded the Spade any­way. He ruffed East’s Spade re­turn and led a Di­a­mond to­wards dummy’s ten. West rose with the Knave and led a third Spade, but de­clarer ruffed in hand, crossed to the ten of Di­a­monds, led a Club to the Knave and en­joyed the last trick with his ace, beat­ing East’s King. Game made.

our sec­ond Five Clubs—from Eng­land v ar­gentina—was dou­bled and made with just 17 high-card points be­tween the part­ner­ship.

West led a Heart, South ruff­ing and lead­ing up a Club. West, bit­terly dis­ap­pointed to see the King in dummy, won the ace and con­tin­ued with a sec­ond Heart (as good as any­thing). De­clarer ruffed and crossed to the (Queen and) King of Clubs, East throw­ing a Spade.

De­clarer could count 10 win­ners —seven Clubs (mak­ing his re­main­ing four sep­a­rately), ace-king of Spades and ace of Di­a­monds. He needed West to hold the King of Di­a­monds (prob­a­ble given his Di­a­mond bid). He crossed to the King of Spades and led a low Di­a­mond to­wards the Queen.

West rose with the King of Di­a­monds and for­lornly led a sec­ond Di­a­mond. De­clarer won dummy’s Queen, crossed to his ace of Spades and claimed the re­main­der on a cross­ruff. Game made.

‘Sorry part­ner,’ said East. ‘I con­trib­uted not one de­fen­sive trick for my open­ing bid.’

(1) False pref­er­ence, the best move at this stage on grounds of econ­omy. (2) ask­ing for a Spade bol­ster op­po­site. North wisely de­cided that ace-small is an in­suf­fi­cient stop­per for three Notrumps. Wisely so— at many ta­bles, the con­tract was three Notrumps, which had no chance on a Spade lead when nei­ther Clubs nor Hearts co­op­er­ated. (3) East gave away a tell-tale mo­ment of re­flec­tion, clearly con­sid­er­ing a dou­ble. Big mis­take.

(1) Lousy suit, but catch a Club fit and South’s hand is very pow­er­ful. (2) the key bid. Rather than con­tent him­self with three Clubs, North jumps to Four Clubs to show his good four-card sup­port in a hand that would rather de­clare than de­fend. (3) Buoyed by the void and the tenth trump. (4) Wouldn’t we all? Nat­u­rally, West ex­pects his ace-queen of Clubs to score two tricks over South’s likely King.

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