Pursuits: Bridge

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If you looked dispassionately at all four hands on this deal, you would come to the conclusion that the "par" result would be 300 points to East-West, collected from doubling Four Spades bid as a sacrifice over the Four Hearts which would have been the limit of the East-West cards. It did not work out like that, with North trying a bluff and being completely out-guessed by East.

East opened One Heart and South overcalled with One Spade. West bid Two Spades, conventionally showing a high-card raise to at least Three Hearts and North (with a retreat to spades in reserve) made the rather futile psyche of 3 No-trumps. This was not difficult for East to read and, determined to make North pay the maximum for his little joke, he launched out with a completely unjustified bid of 4 No-trumps (Roman Key Card Blackwood). When West showed two "aces" - with !K counting as the fifth ace - East, brimming with confidence, went on to Six Hearts.

North fell for it hook, line and sinker. Convinced that his opponents knew what they were doing (which they did, but not in the way that he thought), North "saved" six Spades. East doubled, of course, and the defenders took a heart, two diamonds and two clubs for a penalty of 800 points.

And what would have happened to Six Hearts? Declarer would have had to concede two spades and a diamond, but then he was not required to play there, was he?

The Lederer Memorial Trophy is to be staged at the Young Chelsea Bridge Club (32 Barkston Gardens, London SW5, near Earls Court Tube) on 31 October (2pm and 8pm) and 1 November (1pm). Spectators welcome, at pounds 6 per session (Sat) and pounds 7.50 (Sun)

East-West game; dealer East


4Q 10 8 7 3


#6 2

2J 9 7 6 2

West East

45 4 46 2

!K 10 7 4 !A Q J 9 8

#J 9 5 #A K 10 4

2A K 10 4 2Q 3


4A K J 9

!6 3 2

#Q 8 7 3

28 5