Con­tract Bridge

The Weekly Vista - - Fun & Games - by Steve Becker

The not-so-good old days

Calamity can strike at any time, but in this deal South was ex­cep­tion­ally hard­hit. The hand oc­curred many years ago in a rub­ber-bridge game.

South opened one club, and, af­ter West had over­called with two hearts (strong in those days), North raised to three clubs on de­cid­edly skimpy val­ues.

East bid three hearts, and South tried three spades. Af­ter North bid five clubs over West’s four hearts, South could hardly be crit­i­cized for car­ry­ing on to six. He had a right to ex­pect strong trump sup­port from part­ner, and that was about all he needed.

Why North bid five clubs is dif­fi­cult to un­der­stand. He no doubt in­tended the bid as a sac­ri­fice against four hearts, but what­ever the rea­son, the out­come was dis­as­trous.

West led a heart, and South ruffed. Faced with cer­tain de­feat, de­clarer at­tempted to cut his losses by lead­ing a club, hop­ing to find the trumps di­vided 2-2 and so go down only one.

But West won the club with the ten and con­tin­ued with the A-K-Q, draw­ing all the re­main­ing trumps. He then cashed five hearts to de­feat the con­tract eight tricks!

The penalty amounted to 4,400 points be­cause at that time (1934), the first un­der­trick was 200 points, the sec­ond 300, the third 400 and so on.

Fur­ther­more, to add in­sult to in­jury, West scored 100 hon­ors to bring the to­tal loss on the deal to 4,500 points!

(c) 2017 King Fea­tures Synd., Inc.

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