Games: Bridge

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The Independent Culture
If you are a fan of the Abbot and his colleagues at St Titus you will be pleased to find that The Abbot and the Sensational Squeeze by David Bird (Gollancz, pounds 7.99) is now available. David combines humour with some excellent and instructive hands.

Take this deal, for example. West opened One Diamond, East responded One Heart and Brother Paulo (as South) overcalled with One Spade. West, who was playing support doubles, raised to Two Hearts (promising four card support), North competed with Two Spades and, rather than make any over-subtle try, South jumped to game. West started with his three top diamonds against Four Spades and East discarded a heart. West switched to a heart and declarer won with his ace. Although the diamonds had been a disappointment, at least South found that the missing trumps broke 2- 2. If the contract had been only Three Spades it would have been easy to exit with a heart, for whoever won would have to concede a ruff and discard or open the clubs. In Four Spades, however, it was necessary to make four club tricks in order to discard the losing heart.

Pretending that was sheer luck, South played off the king and ace, successfully dropping West's queen, and claimed. Now why had he done this? Although West would still have opened the bidding with just the queen of clubs, it seemed clear that his hand pattern was 2-4-5-2. And, if his doubleton club did not include the queen, there would be no possibility of South making four tricks in the suit. All too easy, when explained, but would you have appreciated the point at the table?

LOVE ALL: dealer West

] Q 8 6 4

_ 8 5

+ 10 7 2

[ A 10 6 3

] 9 5

_ K Q 10 4 3

+ 9 3

[ 9 8 7 2

] A K 10 7 2

_ A 7

+ 8 6 4

[ K J 5

] J 3

_ J 9 6 2

+ A K Q J 5

[ Q 4