The Lionesses' Den by Ron Klinger

Every Tuesday afternoon there was a ladies bridge four and today it was Miriam's turn to host the gathering. The front bell rang and she hastened to the door.
"Beckie, you look gorgeous," exclaimed Miriam. "What a dress you have!"
"You like it?" said Beckie excitedly. "I made it myself."
"Yes, I realised," replied Miriam, "but it is still exquisite. Come, you must show the others."

Admiration of the new dress and exchange of the latest news did not take long and it was less than an hour later when the first rubber began.

                     Love all, dealer South
           S  AQ3
           H  J43
           D  85
           C  QJ843
S  92                   S  JT8654
H  KT97                 H  -
D  QJ9                  D  T7432
C  T652                 C  97
           S  K7
           H  AQ8652
           D  AK6
           C  AK

West        North       East        South
Beckie      Judith      Rachel      Miriam
Pass        3C          Pass        3H
Pass        4H          Pass        4NT
Pass        5D          Pass        6H
All pass

Miriam ended in six hearts and the queen of diamonds was led, won by the ace. It seemed an easy enough hand but an interesting thought occurred to Miriam. Beckie (Eric's wife) usually gave a sad shake of the head when the opponents reached a slam, as if to say "Look at the good cards they have". Why had she not done so on this occasion? Perhaps she has four trumps, thought Miriam.

At trick 2 Miriam led a low trump towards the dummy. West played low and dummy's jack won the trick, East showing out. Miriam was not a particularly strong technical player but she had an excellent instinct for the game. It seemed to her that the only chance of a make was to come down to just H   A-Q-x in her hand. West, with H K-10-9, could then be end-played.

After cashing the ace and king of clubs, declarer crossed to the queen of spades and ruffed a club. She then cashed the other top diamond and ruffed a diamond. A second club ruff was followed by the king of spades, West following. Miriam gazed triumphantly at her last three cards, H   A-Q-8, just as she had foreseen. She exited with H  8 and spread her last two cards on the table. Twelve tricks made!  

Judith, a tall woman with black hair, leaned forward. "Lucky to make it with that trump break," she said. "We should have been in 6NT." "Do I hear right?" exclaimed Miriam. "I make such a play and you talk about the bidding?"

"The Rabbi says that 6NT is usually safer when you have the points for it," replied Judith, noting down the score. 

"Yes, and the Rabbi also says 'well played' once in a while," retorted Miriam. She turned to the other two. "Can you believe this when I make such a play?" she said.

(To read the rest of The Lionesses' Den, you will need to acquire a copy of KOSHER BRIDGE. Also available : KOSHER BRIDGE #2)