17 OCTOBER 1998, Page 62


A tiny error

Andrew Robson

IT was breakfast time when Edith Dawson collected her prize for winning the Individ- ual Tournament at the summer bridge teachers' jamboree. While the rest of the teachers were preparing for a day of semi- nars, Edith was rushing off to a ballroom dancing conference — in which she is an ex-champion and a top judge. All at the tender age of 87.

It was not surprising that only one pair reached slam on this week's hand, taken from the Individual. Declarer was success- ful but made a tiny error. Can you spot it?

4Q5 2 1114 3 2 • A Q J 7 3 2 45 South West North East 144 pass 1* pass 14 pass 3 • pass 6NT pass pass pass South's 6NT bid was quite unsound. A practical 3NT or more scientific 3 V — bid- ding the fourth suit to ask for more infor- mation — would have been more normal.

West led IIJ and declarer won VA and led and successfully ran CO. He followed with •6 to dummy's •J an cashed •A, felling West's •K. He rattled off dummy's three remaining • winners, discarding 4s from hand, and started on 4s. As 4J appeared on the third round, 410 became his 12th trick and the chancy slam had been made.

Though successful, declarer was fortu- nate that West had not held a singleton • K. He would then have lost the fourth round of •s to East and gone down. He should have led •6 not 410 on the first round of •s. On the actual layout dummy's • J wins, so he crosses back to 4K to repeat the finesse.

But if •6 had drawn •K, he could win *A, cross back to *10, return to 40 and beat East's two remaining 4s with his •Q and *J. 49 8 6 1/J 107 • K 9 4 41Q 9 6 4 4J VIC *8


4 A K 10 3 VA 5 *10 6 + A J 103 2 The Bidding 7 4 Q 9 8 6 5 8 7