Holiday over – and I hopped on the plane home dribbling with excitement. I was going straight to Young Chelsea to play the Friday night IMPs duplicate with my Polish friend, whose unpronounceable name has metamorphosed into Saucepan.
It was heaven to be back, even though we did not exactly shine — unlike Tim Gauld.
Many years ago, there was a BOL’s Bridge Tip called ‘Save the Deuce’, the principle being that you should take care to keep the lowest card in a long suit, in order to be able to decide who wins the last round of it. Tim must have been thinking of it when he played this brilliant defence against Saucepan’s 3NT:
Tim, sitting West, led the ♦9, which was won by declarer’s King when East played low. Saucepan then played a Club, Tim following with the ♣5, and dummy’s Queen taking the trick. Next came the Ace of Clubs, West crucially playing the 7, and another Club to West’s King.
The Heart switch went to East’s King, who cashed the ♦A before tucking declarer in dummy with another Heart.
With plenty of red-suit winners in hand, but infuriatingly no entry to them, South tried his best when he cashed A, K of Spades and played two rounds of Clubs. Had West been forced to win the last Club, he would have had to play a Heart and South would have made his contract. But Tim hadn’t started his brilliant defence in order to muck it up now — he had kept the deuce which allowed the ♣4 to give declarer his eighth trick, but, unable to come off dummy, East claimed the last two tricks, for one down.
As I said, heaven to be back!
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