Games: Bridge

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In 1613, Miguel de Cervantes wrote Exemplary Novels, and in 1907 Hilaire Belloc wrote Cautionary Tales. Now, to update both works, here is another example of the genre.

After a pass by East, South opened One Heart and North forced to game with Two Spades. A 5-5 distribution in the minor suits was more than East could resist, and he joined in with an Unusual Two No-trumps. South passed, West dutifully bid Three Clubs, and North launched into Blackwood. Finding that as ace was missing, he settled for Six Hearts and all passed. (A save in Seven Clubs would have cost at least 1100 points.)

West led the nine of clubs against the slam and, after taking the ace, East returned a club. To avoid a diamond loser, it was necessary for declarer to make five spade tricks and so take three discards. However, when he drew trumps, East turned up with two cards in the suit.

Everyone followed to the king of spades and South was easily able to judge the position. Surely East was marked with 5-5 in the minor suits, and so the three of spades was a singleton. With quiet confidence, declarer finessed 49 and, when it won, was able to claim.

And the moral? Unless you have a genuine chance of playing the hand, the Unusual Two No-trumps can be a very revealing bid to the opposition.

Love all; dealer East


4A Q J 9 2

!K 10 7 3

#A 7

2K Q

West East

410 8 7 6 4 43

!6 5 !8 2

#10 5 #K J 9 6 3

29 8 6 2 2A J 10 7 4


4Q 5

!A Q J 8 7 5 4


2A Q 9