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Game of Patience (Le Bridgeur Magazine No. 918)

2017 World Vice-Champion Jérôme Rombaut writes a column in the French magazine “Le Bridgeur” every two months. In the article below, published in issue 918 of the magazine (November/ December 2018), Jérôme gives us a commented deal from the World Bridge Series held in Orlando last year.

Final of the Excellence Mixed Four

Here is a deal from the World Bridge Series precisely and I had the pleasure to play it with my partner Nicolas Lhuissier. We finished fifth. For our first time playing together, it’s not so bad…

Your hand in North, North-South vulnerable

S Q 5 3
H 10 2
D A Q J 8 7 5 4 
C 3

You decide to open 3♦ and the auction goes:

SouthWestNorthEast
LHUISSIERPETERKINROMBAUTPUNCH
PASS

You lead with your singleton club and the dummy spreads his hand

S  Q 5 3
H 10 2
D A Q J 8 7 5 4
C 3
S 
H  
D 
C 
orientationS J 7
H 7 6 5
D 10 9
C A Q J 10 4 2
S 
H 
D 
C 

The declarer takes the trick with the Queen of Clubs (5 in South and 7 in West). He then plays a trump taken by my partner’s King. Nicolas plays the 6 of Clubs (9 in West).

What do you think happens next?

Nicolas has done the right thing by taking with the King of Spades. Now we know that he has the Ace and King. His small clubs probably show that he has the King of Diamonds. However, are we in a hurry to ruff? The risk is that the declarer ruffs diamonds, which is likely as West bid 4♠ with only six small cards. He could then draw trumps on one round and his remaining clubs would become master cards.

There is no urgency to ruff

Discard a diamond calmly. The declarer plays a trump to Nicolas’s Ace who continues with a club that I ruff at the right time (this time) with my last trump, i.e. the master Queen. I then play a diamond and the declarer concedes another two tricks in Hearts.

Among the 30 pairs who have defended against 4♠ (doubled most of the time), each time with the lead in Clubs, we are the only ones who have defeated the contract. And by 2 tricks!

The full deal

S  Q 5 3
H 10 2
D A Q J 8 7 5 4
C 3
S 10 9 8 6 4 2
H A K 8 4 
D 
C K 9 7
orientationS J 7
H 7 6 5
D 10 9
C A Q J 10 4 2
S A K
H Q J 9 3
D K 6 3 2
C 8 6 5

Visit our “Let’s talk about bridge” section if you want to read another commented deal.