Ducking the first club was never going to cost

  • Fig 1: how the hand begins

We are still in the summer slumber at the Bridge Club so just a few interesting hands over the next three weeks.

Also, since my results manager Linda Abend is away, there are no results with the column — if there is a volunteer out there willing to collate the results each week from the Bridge Club website and send them to me, that would be great — I am at

This week’s hand, once again, displays the value of experience in getting good results (See Fig 1, dealer South E/W vulnerable).

Quite a few South players played in the spade slam which succeeded at every table — but one.

The lead was quite often the 10 of spades which is a good start for the defence.

Declarer won this, crossed to a Heart to play a Club and East won the ace to play a second trump — this left declarer no choice but to ruff a club and hope for good things, and good things happened.

With the queen of clubs coming down eventually declarer made the slam.

So how did one declarer go down?

Well, it needed an East player who had listened to the bidding and had been here before.

At that table West also led a trump but when declarer crossed to dummy to play a club, East played smoothly low-declarer, quite naturally, now played the jack of clubs, which lost to the queen and a second trump play actually had the contract defeated by two tricks.

East made a great play, knowing that declarer probably had five clubs. East knew that with just two trumps left in dummy he was always going to get his club ace, so ducking the first club was never going to cost and gave declarer a chance to go wrong — which he did.

Nice play! Take a good look at the hand and try and see how East came to his conclusion as this is a situation that occurs time and time again at the table.