Friday, 7 January 2011

( Article by Bridgemeister Gibson )
In a recent division 4 intercity league match, I was declarer in 6S, and on receiving an awkward seven of hearts opening lead I felt compelled to go up with dummy's Ace.
Well, there I was in a 22 point slam, but my erroneous thinking led me to believe the contract was there : 2 outside Aces, 3 club ruffs in dummy to go along with my seven trumps. However, my intended line of play completely exposed my blindness to the obvious........and what happened at the table.
At trick two, I played the king of spades. Both defenders followed suit ( or so I thought ! ). Then came the Ace of clubs, followed a low club which was ruffed in dummy. Now back to hand with a ruff of a heart. Oops...... my 9 of spades was over-ruffed by my LHO's queen, and a diamond return sealed my fate.
Now I had to report back to my team-mates about my reckless loss of 13 imps, bracing myself for the flak that was surely coming my way. But lo and behold, it emerged that an opposition pair had arrived at the same contract only to misplay the end as well. Unbelievably ..... it ended up a flat board, with little happening in the way of recriminations. It was left to me to contemplate my own demise.
However, the trigger was effectively pulled when my partner astutely pointed out that there was a much better way of playing the contract on the lead of the heart. All I had to do was play of two rounds of trumps ending in dummy. Then on the play of the heart queen simply pitch away my losing diamond. It matters not a jot which opponent takes the trick with the heart king. Whatever suit the is returned, I take the trick knowing that two trumps in dummy are there to deal with 2 club losers, with the established jack of hearts to dispose of the third club.
Why I didn't see that line of play at the time I just don't know.
Someone hand me that gun after all............................

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