BRIDGE : ETCETERA

I SUPPOSE it is much more natural for experts at this game to take greater delight from the misfortunes of their peers than from the accidents of lesser known players. We were all amused by the tale of a World Master who went down in Six Hearts on this deal from a pairs competition.

South opened Two No-trum-ps. The fit in hearts was soon established but some delicate probing revealed that something critical was missing in the diamond department and the final contract was Six Hearts against which West led the jack of clubs.

South's first reaction was that Six No-trumps would have been a higher-scoring contract and that he therefore had to hope that the cards lay in such a way that the slam in no-trumps would fail but the slam in hearts succeed. After drawing trumps declarerled a diamond from dummy. East played the jack and, as at least one trick had to be lost in the suit, South won with his ace.

Next came the remaining black suit winners, ending in dummy, and another diamond on which East played an untroubled ten. If East had started with only two diamonds, playing the queen now would lose two tricks to West. Seeing (as he thought) daylight, declarer played low from hand. Certainly if West still held the king and the nine he could not afford to overtake and if East was left on lead he would have to concede a ruff and discard.

"My ten?" queried East. On being assured that he was still on lead, he brooded for a while before cashing the king of diamonds for the setting trick.

Game all; dealer South North ] A Q _ Q J 8 3

+ 8 7 5 4 2

[ A Q West East ] 9 7 5 3 ] 8 6 4 2

_ 7 4 _ 6 2

+ 9 6 + K J 10

[ J 10 9 7 6 [ 5 4 3 2

South ] K J 10

_ A K 10 9 5

+ A Q 3

[ K 8

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