Janet de Botton

Bridge | 24 April 2021

There are many drawbacks to playing bridge online but there is one thing that’s quite enjoyable: the speed and accuracy with which you can see your results — available as soon as a round is completed. Great fun when you have done something clever, not so thrilling when you are on the receiving end of an opponent’s brilliance or, worse, your own idiocy.

The teams at the EBU Easter Online Festival was won by Simon Gillis playing with three top Norwegians. On today’s deal, his team mate Odin Svendsen brought home 5♣ in a most instructive way. I had a quick look online and, sure enough, only five of the 17 declarers playing in a Club contract made 11 tricks — the rest ten. How would you have done? (See diagram).

Regardless of who became Declarer (some Norths opened 1 or 3 Clubs) all tables got a Heart lead after West had bid the suit.

Tempting as it may be to check the trump suit immediately, we must look a step further into the future; if we have to lose a trick to the ♣K, it would be nice to get the trick back somehow…

Odin showed us how; he ruffed the lead and played a Diamond to his hand — the Jack winning — and ruffed a second Heart. East took the next Diamond, but had nothing better to do than play another one. South won and ruffed his last Heart. Next came a Spade to hand and, finally, Odin advanced the ♣Q. West showed out, but Ace and another Club put East on lead, who had to play a Spade or give a ruff & discard.

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