Cool heads over high hopes

A moment of deep thought before the auction starts for Warwick Milne, Mavis Simpson, Janny Sipple and Noela Collins. Picture: CONTRIBUTED

Dealer: E Vul: Both


♠ Q1084

♥ 10765

♦ J8

♣ J94


♠ A9753 ♠ 6

♥ A ♥ 9

♦ Q104 ♦ AK976532

♣ 7653 ♣ 1092


♠ KJ2

♥ KQJ8432

♦ —


Cool heads prevailed over high hopes on Board 10 at Warwick Bridge Club last Friday.

After East had opened with a pre-emptive bid of 3D, three North/South pairs raised the bidding to 6H, presumably in the hope that partner held one Ace or that the missing Aces were in separate hands. On this layout there was no escape from failing by one trick. The missing two Aces were in the one hand. Declarer could trump the common diamond lead, but West held the Ace of hearts and could immediately cash the Ace of spades to defeat 6H by one trick. Only Jenny Smith/Ros Hart and North. South winners, Noela Collins/Mavis Simpson resisted the temptation to bid as high as 6H. In each case, South’s bid of 4H over East’s 3D ended the auction. The play was simple: trump the diamond lead, draw East/West’s trumps in one round and concede the Ace of Spades. Eleven tricks were made for a score of 650.

The best defence of the day, and possibly the month, came from Janny Sipple and Warwick Milne. Warwick could be relied upon to push hard in the auction with his blockbuster diamonds. Perhaps it was this barrage that persuaded South to bail out in 5H. It also provided Janny with the information she needed to defeat the contract. Janny deduced that South may well have no diamonds and could therefore trump a diamond lead. There was nothing to lose from testing the spades. If this failed, holding the Ace of trumps guaranteed that a diamond could still be tried. After winning with the Ace, Janny continued with a spade, which was trumped by Warwick. East/West held only two trumps, but made both, as well as the Ace of spades. This was the only table at which declarer was held to ten tricks. At every other table, West woodenly led a diamond without taking a little time to analyse the possibilities.

Results, Monday, 10/06/24 (6 & ½-table Mitchell): N/S N. Collins D. Moran (63.7) 1; T. Hinde P. Campbell (55.8) 2; J. Smith L. Munson (55.0) 3. E/W R. Hart N. McGinness (56.1) 1; H. Price L. Don (51.2) 2; M. Simpson B. Reid (50.7) 3. Friday 14/06/24, (6-table Mitchell): N/S N. Collins M. Simpson (66.6) 1; N. Bonnell B. Bonnell (58.7) 2; T. Hinde J. Mobbs (50.9) 3. E/W P. Kelly J. Rose (60.1) 1; D. Moran N. McGinness (59.3) 2; W. Milne J. Sipple (51.6) 3.