Janet De-Botton

Bridge | 19 July 2018

Bridge | 19 July 2018
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Last Friday, merrily on my way to Young Chelsea (still the best IMPs duplicate in town), I couldn’t know that my very dull outfit would cause offence. I found a seat, and was sitting with my back to the room getting settled when the lovely new manager, Louisa, beckoned me over. There had been a complaint, she said, about my trousers! Apparently, someone had asked her to tell me that they were too low-cut, which resulted in a wardrobe malfunction visible through the cut-out in the chair. I can’t remember if she said they were distracted, disgusted or disturbed — let’s go with distracted — but what can he/she/they have seen? A wisp of undergarment? A smidgen of builder’s bum? Either way, it’s dungarees for me in future.

But back to the duplicate. We were the only pair in grand slam on today’s hand, and the only pair to go minus on the board. But could it be made?

West led ♣6 to East’s King and my partner’s Ace. He cashed the Ace and King of hearts to see if the Queen dropped and when it didn’t he cashed the ♣Q and ran all seven spades to reach this end position: dummy had J & 2, East held J & ♣J, South had A Q and West had Q & K. Declarer called for the 2 from dummy and on East’s Jack ‘guessed’ wrong, put in his Queen and went 2 down. Was there a clue to eliminate the guess? Not quite eliminate but certainly influence: East would be unlikely to play the ♣K at trick one holding K 10 x x x (no one leads from a Queen against a GS), so was more or less marked with the ♣J leaving West with singleton K to drop under his Ace. Maybe he was distracted.