bridge 10-15

Bridge has been wonderful at bringing players from different countries together. No one cares about your religious views or ethnicity, only what your bidding and defensive carding agreements are.

Today’s deal was played online, with each player from a different country. North was an American, East a Frenchman, South a German and West a Greek. How did the play proceed in six clubs after West led the diamond queen?

In the auction, after South’s strong opening and North’s positive response, South’s jump rebid of four clubs promised a solid suit, set trumps and asked for control-bids. After three of those, South signed off in six clubs.

Declarer saw that he needed to get into the dummy so that he could discard his red-suit losers on dummy’s spade winners. But how?

He had two lines available. He could cash the club ace, hoping the nine dropped, establishing the eight as a dummy entry. However, that was only a 12.5% chance. South preferred to lead the club four from his hand. He was hoping that West would win with the nine. But he calmly followed suit with his five. Now it looked to declarer as if West didn’t have the nine. Perhaps he had the seven instead. South finessed dummy’s club six, losing to East’s seven. East returned his last diamond, and declarer had to lose three red-suit tricks to go down three.

South typed to West: “Why didn’t you play your club nine?”

The reply came back: “A Greek knows not to accept a Greek gift.”

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