The year is drawing to a close and this is my last column before Christmas. May I wish you all a very merry one?
TGR’s autumn Superleague finished last week and was won by my friend Jonathan Harris and his merry men. For once that evil old mantra ‘When a friend succeeds a part of me dies’ did not push itself unbidden into my bitter little brain. ‘Is it the first time you’ve won this?’ I asked him. ‘It’s the first time I have won anything — including a raffle,’ he replied, quick as a bunny. Jonathan is one of those rare birds, a bridge player who loves the game no matter what the result. He never blames his partner or teammates and he never looks shattered if things go wrong. Note to self...
Today’s hand is a delicious little stocking filler that I couldn’t resist. You may have seen the theme before but it’s worth a reminder:
At table one the ♦King was led, won in dummy with the Ace… and now there is no way home. Declarer played trumps hoping for a 2/2 break, but no cigar. Next he tried 3 rounds of hearts but West ruffed, exited ♦Q and sat back and waited for his club trick. One down.
At the other table South also got the ♦K lead in the same contract but he took a few minutes to work out the hand before playing — and he ducked! He won the trump continuation in hand, cashed another high spade, cashed the Ace and King of hearts, crossed to dummy with the third trump and jettisoned the ♥Q on ♦A. Finally he discarded his losing clubs on dummy’s good hearts and claimed.