Pessimists outnumbered optimists

Mavis Simpson, Tony Hinde, Noela Collins and Judy Mobbs set their cards in play. Picture: CONTRIBUTED

Dealer: E Vul: Nil


♠ AKQ8

♥ K982

♦ Q

♣ A932


♠ 10432 ♠ J97

♥ 7 ♥ J7

♦ J6432 ♦ A1085

♣ KQ8 ♣ 10654


♠ 65

♥ AQ6543

♦ KJ9

♣ J7

The winners of the Monday Red Point Event are Noela Collins and Mavis Simpson, who played solid bridge for both rounds. Because of the movement used that day they sat East/West and so missed the chance to bid the only slam available in Round 2: Board 14 (above). John Nankervis and Pat Kelly, winners of the North/South section last Monday, did find the slam.

Pessimists outnumbered optimists by 5-1 on this hand. Missing one Ace and one King, the pessimists settled for 4H and were disappointed to find that twelve tricks could be made. John and Pat took the plunge and raised the bidding to 6H. John’s Queen of diamonds was valuable as a singleton, but it also competed a sequence with South’s diamonds.

Pat, South, received the common lead of the King of clubs. With the Ace of diamonds a certain loser, Pat had no choice but to call for the Ace and look for a way to discard his losing club. There was no reason to delay drawing the defenders’ trumps. Once this was done, North’s three top spades could be cashed, allowing South’s losing club to be discarded on the third top spade.. Now came the time to unleash the Queen of diamonds. East duly won with the Ace, but South’s hand now contained only red cards, which were all winners.

A curious feature of this deal is that two players sitting East made the extraordinary lead of the eight of clubs. Neither declarer was courageous (or reckless) enough to allow it to run to South’s Jack. This play would have given declarer the thirteenth trick. Then again, the lead of the Queen of clubs by two players must have been confusing to all except West.

Results: Monday, 12/02/24 (Rd 2 Red Point Event) N/S J. Nankervis P. Kelly (61.0) 1; M. Johnston C. Duggan (56.7) 2; T. Hinde N. Bonnell (54.3) 3. E/W H. Price R. Hart (60.0) 1 eq. N. Collins M. Simpson (60.0) 1 eq. J. Smith N. McGinness (54.0) 3. Overall: N. Collins M. Simpson 1; T. Hinde N. Bonnell 2; H. Price R. Hart 3. Friday, 16/02/24 (4 & ½-table Howell): L. James S. Head (63.2) 1; N. Bonnell B. Bonnell (61.1) 2; P. Kelly D. Moran (59.7) 3.; A. Macdonald B. Reid 4 and 1st on handicap.