Several Seconds late by Ted Horning

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South was a swinger type of player. He bid with abandon and played similarly, but, one must admit, had style.

By Ana Roth
On 29 January, 2016 At 9:45

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Ted Horning
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The Montreal Gazette – 13 Nov 1981

South was a swinger type of player. He bid with abandon and played similarly, but, one must admit, had style. His bid in today’s hand certainly showed flair. It was the kind of bid that a swinger would make. Fortunately for the defence, South couldn’t resist continuing that style into the play portion.

None vulnerable West deals

2 spades weak

Well, I did introduce South, not by name but certainly by style South’s jump to six clubs is the kind of bid a player makes when they are used to playing alone — who needs a partner? Sometimes these bids do work.

South got his first break when West started the defence with the high spade. A heart lead would have finished the hand as quickly as it was bid. South won the ace of spades and within two seconds had also played the ace of clubs. He received his second break when the suit divided 1-1.

Gloriously, South cashed the ace of diamonds and played another diamond to dummy’s king. A third round of diamonds was trumped with the two of clubs and suddenly the pace of the game slowed down — South just sat there for a few seconds staring at that two of clubs. Can you see why South had lost his verve?

It was for the simple reason that he had also lost his slam contract. He had just carelessly squandered a valuable entry to the dummy. When diamonds divided 4-2, East still had a high diamond. South could return to the dummy with the three of clubs lead to the four and trump another diamond. This would establish the fifth diamond for a heart discard.

However, South had no other entry to get there to cash the diamond. That is where the two of clubs came in. It would have pro-vided that critical second entry. When pricked, a balloon breaks instantly. It took several seconds for the two of clubs to do the same job.

Have you met South?

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