A PARTNERSHIP GAME By Patrick Jourdain,Great Britain

Contrary to popular expectation, married couples are showing well in this World Mixed Pairs. But marriage and bridge are both partnership games,and there are deals which require the two players,in defense,to think as one. Here are two examples, featuring the married couple from France,Philippe and Benedicte Cronier.

                  NORTH
Love All          S Q 4
Dealer East       H K 8 7 5
                  D J 9 6 2
  WEST            C A 10 9    EAST
S A J 7 5                    S K 9 8 6 3
H J 9                        H 10 6 4
D Q 10 8                     D A 7 5
C K Q 7 3                    C 8 6
                  SOUTH
                  S 10 2
                  H A Q 3 2
                  D K 4 3
                  C J 5 4 2


West    North     East      South
      Philippe            Benedicte
                   Pass      Pass
1C      Pass       1S        Pass
2S      Pass       Pass      Dbl
Pass    3H         3S        All pass
 
  In the bidding Benedicte showed the sort of enterprise which is essential if you are to do well in Pairs. Her reopening double pushed East one level higher than he wished to go,but it looks as if this would not gain,for East's only losers appear to be two hearts,a diamond,and a club.  Benedicte began with a low diamond,which could have been from four small or three to an honor. Declarer tried the ten from dummy,covered by the jack and ace. Trumps were drawn in two rounds,and then declarer led a club towards dummy. The queen won the trick,Philippe,North,ducking smoothly. Declarer then came off dummy with a heart. Benedicte won with the queen,and immediately continued with a LOW diamond.  Poor declarer. He placed the ace of clubs with South,and therefore the king of diamonds with North. He decided his only chance was to finesse the eight of diamonds. North produced the nine. The defenders,happy with their joint effort,cashed two more tricks in the red suits to sink the partscore.

On the next board came another simple but effective joint effort:

                  NORTH
E/W Vul           S 10 8 6
Dealer West       H A Q 7 5
                  D 10 5 2
  WEST            C 10 8 7   EAST
  S K J 9 4                 S A 5
  H K 3                     H J 10 4
  D 9 8                     D Q 7 6 4 3
  C J 9 6 5 3               C A K Q
                  SOUTH
                  S Q 7 3 2
                  H 9 8 6 2
                  D A K J
                  C 4 2


West   North    East   South
       Philippe        Benedicte
Pass   Pass     1NT    Pass
2C     Pass     2D     Pass
2NT    Pass     3NT    All Pass

   The East-West pressed on,as many did,to the notrump game,and frequently this proved successful. With the aid of the spade finesse declarer has eight top tricks,and the defenders who allowed declarer a heart trick early in the play regretted it.  Against 3NT,Benedicte led the DA,which could have been from AKx. Seeing a discouraging 2 from her husband,she switched to a heart,the eight. Philippe won the queen,and cashed the ace. He might then have had a problem: it  might be right to set up a heart trick for his side before partner's top diamond was knocked out. But,to the second  heart,Benedicte carefully followed with the NINE to send the message that she did not want the suit continued. And so,being a trusting partner,Philippe went back to diamonds,and the defense had their five tricks before declarer enjoyed his nine.

 

BERMUDA REVISITED By Patrick Jourdain


In a match between Armstrong (GB) and Rosen (USA), I had time to watch one hand. Armstrong had already scored enough to qualify, which was just as well, for this was the deal I observed:

Dealer: East; Love all


                    S  Q 9 2
                    H  A 7 5 3
                    D  A Q 4
                    C  7 5 4
          S  5 4               S  K 10
          H  K 10 9            H  Q J 8 6 2
          D  J 8 7 6 3 2       D  K 10 9 5
          C  6 2               C  K 10
                    S  A J 8 7 6 3
                    H  4
                    D  -
                    C  A Q J 9 8 3

West      North     East      South
Armstrong Dupont    Dyson     Garozzo
                    1H        2H (a)
3H (b)    Dbl (c)   Pass      4H
Pass      4S        Pass      5C (d)
Pass      5D (d)    Dbl       5H
Dbl       Redbl (e) Pass      6C
Pass      6D        Pass      6H
Pass      7S        All pass

(a) Spades and clubs
(b) Preemptive
(c) Competitive
(d) Cuebid
(e) First-round control

The American pair (yes, Benito now qualifies officially under that heading, having obtained his American citizenship and passport) discovered during the auction that they had all the first-round controls, and Garozzo certainly had a good hand... but his final try of 6H tempted Lea Dupont to go for the jackpot. She was entitled to expect both top spades in dummy, the three small clubs were bad news, but her team needed a big final round score....
Against the grand slam, Dyson led HQ. Dupont won, finessed SJ, cashed the ace and saw the king fall. The spectators emitted the same noise that golfing crowds do when the ball bounces off a tree into the hole. "It's not over yet," said Dupont, coming off the dummy a trump to the queen. A club finesse succeeded, but left declarer stranded in the dummy. Then, for the second time, a black ace felled East's king.
All four players saw the humorous side, though the Brits might have been less pleased had the deal put their qualification at risk. The other table made 13 tricks in 4S. The swing was enough to give the match 20-10 to Rosen, but it was the British team that still went through to the round of 32.

Now, let's go back to that title, referring to Bermuda. You recall, no doubt, that a player named Belladonna won a world title there in 1975, making a grand slam at the end by finding K10 doubleton of clubs onside. And that the defender with that holding (who has has had enough of seeing his name connected with the deal), might have deflected declarer from the winning line by following, on the first trump lead, with the KING.
Well, I am sure that Andrew Dyson has read about the deal, and a little disappointed that, just for fun, if no other  reason, he did not play the KING of spades when Dupont first led the suit.
Just put yourself in declarer's elegant shoes. If East has the bare king of spades, there is a simple way to improve your chances in the club suit. You create an extra entry to your hand BY FINESSING THE SPADE NINE.
East now has the same regrets as that earlier defender, but it did not cost him a world title .... the team of which he was a member won their group in style.