Bridge Movie by Alan Hiron (Great Britain)

With apologies to The Bridge World, I would like to present this hand as a bridge movie. You are North, East-West
vulnerable and West is the dealer.

Your hand is: S 7543
H T4
D A5
C KT865

After a pass on your right, you pass and your left hand opponent's opening bid of 4S is doubled by your partner. After West passes, its your move.

Conducting a brief poll, Tony Priday (the British Ladies NPC), thought that 6C was clear cut, while Sam Leckie and others, regarded pass as totally automatic. It was quite a long while before I found a supporter for the middle of the road bid that I chose - 5C.

Now screens are all very well, but most people are not deaf. Five minutes of clear silence is followed by a flurry of activity and the bidding tray comes through. Partner has raised to 6C and West has doubled. Something seems to tell you that it was not West who had the problem..

How do you feel about your contract when dummy is displayed?

S KQ2
H AKQJ63
D -
C J973

Well, your first reaction is that it is not quite what you expected. Not many players would have followed partner's strategy. Still, you are playing with your beloved wife, so you thank her gravely. Your second thought is - where are
all the missing diamonds? Ah well, perhaps the level was a little high for them to be shown.

Now the play. Oh yes, I had forgotten something the opening lead. It was the DK. You may now see the full hand:

S 7543
H T4
D A5
C KT865
S - S AJT986
H 8752 H 9
D T98762 D KQJ43
C AQ4 C 2
S KQ2
H AKQJ63
D -
C J973

You ruff in dummy, run the C9 successfully and continue trumps. West takes his Ace while East signals meaningfully with the SJ. The sequel illustrates one of the big drawbacks of screens - you cannot see West's frustration at his inability to lead a spade or East's, when his partner does not do so. Now it is all over.

Oddly enough, the diamonds got lost at the other table as well and here, the contract was a dull 4S doubled. South decided that a forcing game was best, but his reluctance to lead clubs, on any of the four occasions that he was in (!), meant that Cedric Cockcroft, as East, escaped for the loss of 500 points.

In another match, Israel/Austria recorded a double game swing. Their East-West pair were allowed to play in 5D, which proved to be an easy make. Nissan Rand and Moshe Katz were sitting North-South, and after a fiercely competitive auction, Rand found himself in 5Hx. When West failed to find the opening lead of the CA, Rand only had to guess the clubs to make his contract. When he got them right, he had +650 to go with the +400 recorded by his team-mates.

Incidentally, have you ever met a retrospective striped - tailed ape? Fortunately, the hand records have been mislaid but you hold:

S -
H 64
D KQJ973
C JT965

Your opponents are vulnerable and your right hand opponent opens a multi two diamonds. As both 2NT and 3NT are fairly natural in your methods, you could bid 4NT, but you decide to pass for the time being.

On your left, a forcing 2NT; on your right 3S. Now you launch into 3NT and hear 4S on your left. It is not impossible that this would have ended the auction, but partner doubles and All Pass. You lead DK, but prospects are not good when dummy displays:

S A963
H KT9753
D 4
C AK

As declarer has the Ace of hearts and six spades headed by the King - Jack, you are soon writing down -1190 in the adverse column. The double certainly stopped them from bidding the slam and as your team-mates are collecting +1660, it must have been a good bid.