A Most Unusual Defensive Hand By Arthur Robbins
On 24 February, 2017 At 17:58
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2017 56th Gold Coast Congress
Saturday 18 February – Saturday 25 February, 2017
The following article by Arthur Robbins appeared in the December 2016 issue of Australian Bridge Magazine.
Bridge is a great, but unpredictable game. You hold:
You are vulnerable and the opponents not.
Q 10 7 Q J 6 5 4 3 2 10 7 4.
Sitting East, RHO opened 1NT (15-17). Do you bid? (You have a convention to show a long minor). I took the safe path, and 1NT became the final contract.
What to lead? A pedestrian 4th highest diamond was my choice. How many tricks do you think this hand took, when partner held a small doubleton diamond? Not six, not seven, but eight tricks! I won the 10, Q, 10 and five diamonds, against an experienced declarer.
Declarer won the 5 lead in dummy, and finessed 9 to my ten (this is the correct play, gaining K 10 x or Q 10 x with West – my partner did well to play low on the heart).
I led Q to clear diamonds. Declarer won and played ace and a small heart to partner’s king. Partner led 3, and declarer ducked to my queen (this was an error, because partner did not lead a diamond, so the only chance to prevent East from gaining an entry is by going up with the king). I won the queen, and five rounds of diamonds put pressure on partner and declarer. Dummy came down to A 5, partner to A J, declarer K 10. When I led 7, dummy won, but had to give me my 10. Eight tricks from this motley lot, surely a record. Oh, what a game!
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