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Top-class defender against expert declarer – game on!

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Today’s hand pitted a top-class defender in the East seat against an expert declarer in the South seat, and that is always fun to watch.

Figure 1

See the hand in Figure 1 and the bidding in Figure 2.

Figure 2

West led the Queen of hearts against four spades. East overtook this with the King and, thinking far ahead, did not cash the second heart but returned the eight of diamonds, thus retaining an entry to partner’s hand.

Declarer deduced that this was a singleton. He saw that it would be pointless to take the trump finesse: there were only 16 points missing and West was marked with four hearts headed by the Queen-Jack. So, East was all but certain to have begun with the King of trumps.

Carrying his thought process further, it was at least as likely that East would have three trumps as it was that he had two. Also, since it was almost certain that East had the King of clubs, declarer decided to attempt to cut the defender’s communication in hearts.

Declarer took the diamond shift in dummy and ran the Queen of clubs. After playing a second club to his ace, declarer crossed to dummy with a trump to the ace and led the jack of clubs. East covered with the king and, rather than ruffing this trick, declarer discarded his remaining heart. This classic loser-on-loser play gained nothing directly, but it prevented a diamond ruff by severing the heart link between the defensive hands. East now tried a fourth round of clubs, but declarer ruffed high and, as West could not overruff, declarer was home.

He was then able to claim his contract, conceding a trick to the King of trumps.

While there was some danger from foul breaks in clubs in this approach, it was more likely to succeed than any alternative, assuming the bad diamond break indicated by East’s play to the first two tricks.

A great cut and thrust battle!

• It saddens me to bring you news of the passing last week of Lady Eileen Sharpe in her hundredth year- those of us long standing members will remember her with great fondness even though she stopped playing some years ago.

The Sharpe family, through the years, have always been an important part of the Bridge Club, and Eileen’s daughter Kathy, son-in-law Richard and niece Lynanne are all current and active members.

Eileen was a member of the Club for many years and the Bridge Club notice to members got it spot on when they described her as elegant, full of vitality and independent to the end.

She will not be forgotten by anyone who knew her and our thoughts are with her family, which is an exceptionally close one, as we know her passing will leave a great void for them.


Friday, October 15

1. Jane Smith - Alan Douglas

2. Marge Way - Charles Hall

3/4Lorna Anderson - Joyce Pearson

3/4Sue Hodge - John Hodge

Monday, October 18

1. Gertie Barker - Jane Smith

2. Linda Abend - George Correia

3. Judy Bussell - Charles Hall

Tuesday, October 19

1. Louise Payne - Katyna Rabain

2. Malcolm Moseley - Mark Stevens

3. Sarah Bowers - Stuart Clare

Wednesday, October 20

1. Marge Way - Charles Hall

2. Martha Ferguson - Alan Douglas

3. Gertie Barker - Jane Smith

Thursday, October 21

1. Elizabeth McKee - Linda Pollett

2. Stephanie Kyme - Charles Hall

3. Lynanne Bolton - Peter Donnellan

Friday, October 22

1. Jane Smith - Alan Douglas

2. Marge Way - Charles Hall

3. Gertie Barker - Martha Ferguson

Monday, October 25

1. Diana Diel - Charles Hall

2. Gertie Barker - Jane Smith

3. Carolyne Fowler - Inger Mesna

Tuesday, October 26

1. Marion Silver - Duncan Silver

2. Amanda Ingham - Heidi Dyson

3. Jane Gregory - Wenda Krupp

Wednesday, October 27

1. Diana Diel - Charles Hall

2. Gertie Barker - Jane Smith

3. Lynanne Bolton - Peter Donnellan

Thursday, October 28

1. MargeWay - Misha Novakovic

2/3.Marion Silver - Duncan Silver

2/3.Jane Smith - Peter Donnellan

4. Betsy Baillie - Lynanne Bolton

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Published October 30, 2021 at 7:32 am (Updated October 30, 2021 at 7:32 am)

Top-class defender against expert declarer – game on!

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