A friend of mine called to tell me about this hand that was
played during a match point duplicate bridge tournament. There
are two very important thoughts that should be examined with
relation to this deal, but the bidding sequence shown is not one
of them. The final contract is also a little silly, which brings
us to point one.
The player in the East seat has bid spades and the
opposition has found it's way, in some manner, to a no trump
slam. I would suspect that West would lead a spade against six
no trump, if there was no reason not to. When East doubled this
contract, West thought that his partner was asking him to make an
unusual lead. This was not so unreasonable, South had heard the
spade bid as well and bid six no trump anyway. After some
though, West led the three of clubs.
So, the first lesson is, when you have them where you want
them, maybe is is best to not give your partner a chance (or a
reason) to make a mistake.
South realized that there was not much chance for his
contract when the dummy came down, and then he saw the opening
lead and he brightened up some. He could only count ten top
tricks but it was very likely that West could be placed under a
lot of pressure. Here is what the end position looked like after
seven rounds of clubs:
With the lead in dummy, South called for the four of hearts.
East played the seven and declarer played the nine. West won the
queen and returned the queen of diamonds. South let that ride to
the king and then cashed the ace of hearts. The king fell from
East and South was able to claim.
From the bidding, West felt that he had to keep the queen of
hearts twice protected. If he did not, and South held the ace
and king of that suit, the queen would come crashing down.
It is possible that East could have helped by discarding the
king of hearts at his first opportunity. Now West would know
that he could keep the queen only once protected and so have room
to keep one small spade, but that is not what happened.
Here is the second important point: When the dummy comes
down, no matter how bad things appear to be, remain confident and
look for a way to take advantage of whatever assets are
available. When you look at the recap sheet and see an
impossible score, keep in mind that nothing is really impossible.
Some scores may be more difficult to explain than others, but
that is what makes the game what it is.
a free-lance writer in Solon.