10 OCTOBER 1998, Page 65


Making sure

Andrew Robson

BRIDGE teaching methods are changing radically under the new 'Bridge for All' scheme led by the English Bridge Union Teachers Association. At their 1998 sum- mer jamboree a proposal was made for teachers all over the country to teach a unified system known as 'English Standard' —Weak Notrump, Four Card Majors — indeed what used to be loosely referred to as `Acol', without the frills. Those who know me or who have been to my bridge school will understand how delighted I am that the rest of the country will shortly be practising what I have been preaching for some years.

This week's hand is taken from the sum- mer jamboree: 4 A 9 6 2

• Q 2 • 9 8 6 # A Q 8 4

40 108 V9 7 6

• .1 5 4 +53 4 2


J 108 • Q 7 3 +109 7 5 3 2 W E

4 K J 75 VA K4

• A K 10 # K J 6

The Bidding South West North East 2NT pass 6NT pass pass pass West led a passive V7, correctly steer- ing clear of his broken four card suits, and declarer surveyed his prospects. He required only three 4 tricks for his con- tract. Can you see how he can guarantee them regardless of the opposing distribu- tion?

The only sure-fire route, after winning with dummy's VQ, is to cross to *K and lead 45. If West shows out, dummy's 4A is played and 46 led towards 4J; if West plays 410 or 40 there are no more prob- lems; if he plays 48 — as here — declarer must cover with dummy's 49. Most of the time East will win the trick, in which case the suit has split 3-2 and the fourth round will be good. On the actual hand it was most necessary to insert 49 because East discarded.

Declarer cashed his 12 tricks and put his suit combination into his memory bank. I encourage the reader to do likewise.