Janet de Botton

Bridge | 10 April 2021

Bridge | 10 April 2021
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Bridge is a complex game, and is played by humans. Put those two things together and you have a guarantee that mistakes will be made. Whatever the strength of the partnership, making it easy for partner, and taking charge when you know the route, is absolutely vital.

Here is a hand from a high-standard Mixed Online event that was played last week. West was male and East female.

West led his partner’s suit to the Ace and Declarer’s nine. East’s Ace is suit preference for Hearts, and is a good and helpful play. She made another good choice when she shifted to the ♣9, indicating nothing in the suit.

Declarer didn’t think he needed to risk anything, so went up with the Ace, played a trump to dummy and a Heart towards his Jack, when — disaster — East ruffed, and West signalled feverishly with the ten of Hearts.

East took the defence’s third trick with the ◆King, West this time discarding the ♥2 in the hope of maybe promoting a trump trick. The lady played yet another Diamond, but South could ruff high, draw trumps and discard his Clubs on the Hearts.

‘Sorry,’ said East, but that wasn’t enough for West. ‘Didn’t you see I pitched the two of Clubs?’ he moaned.’How on earth can I want another Diamond when I do that?’

As you might have guessed, I have no sympathy with West at all — and not just because of his lecturing. He knew the ♣K was a trick, so he should have just ruffed partner’s ◆King and taken the contract off for sure. I wonder if he ever realised?