Only very few bridge players in the world have what is known as that " 6th sense ", a level of awareness where danger can be spotted a mile off. The following hand clearly demonstrates that Johnny Supremo belongs to this rare and gifted group.
North : AQ9xx.....x.....AKQJx......Qx
South : KJx.....Axxxx........x......Axxx
In an uncontested auction the bidding went as follows : 1H-1S-2C-2D-3S-4NT-5H-6S
With most declarers finding their way to a small slam in spades, on every table East kicked off with the 6C opening lead.
At our table the errant declarer ducked the club lead in dummy, only to see my partner pop up with the King. A club return was promptly ruffed by me to seal declarer's fate. One off.
At another table, the declarer sensibly took the opening trick by rising with dummy's club Ace. Twelve tricks seemed relatively straightforward with 5S, 5D and two outside Aces. So trumps were drawn and diamonds played off from the top, but when the suit broke badly only 11 tricks were made.
However, at Johnny's table, the great man was at the helm. Would he fall victim to both minor suits breaking badly ? No chance. He too took the first trick with dummy's club Ace, and then played a small diamond over to his Ace. At trick three he led a low diamond ruffing it with dummy's jack . His foresight was well rewarded when West too showed out of diamonds, discarding a low heart. So with trumps breaking 3-2, Johnny had an easy time harvesting 12 tricks.
With seemingly every other declarer going down in the same contract, I asked Johnny " Surely, the odds of coming up against a 6-1 or 5/2 diamond break are far less likely than 4-1 split in spades ? Howcome you played the hand anticipating adverse breaks in the minors, but an extremely friendly break in trumps ? "
" Ah ", he said with a rueful smile, " firstly there was no double which might have flagged up an adverse trump break. Secondly, even if the trumps split 4-1, there's still a 20% chance the singleton is the 10. Thirdly, I couldn't help but notice the speed at which the club 6 hit the table , a clear indication it was a stiff. Fourthly, I also noticed a tiny glint of delight in West's eye when I played a small diamond at trick 2. Another revealing tell tale sign. And lastly, my 6th sense always enables me to sniff out danger, whenever suits are breaking 6-1. "
What a man......