Mad Bridge Party

Dealer: South
Both sides vulnerable

North
S Q 10 3
H A 10
D A 10 9 8 5 2
C J 10
West
S A 9 7 6 2
H K 8 5
D 7 4
C 6 3 2
East
S K J
H Q 7 4 2
D K 3
C 9 8 7 5 4
South
S 8 5 4
H J 9 6 3
D Q J 6
C A K Q
South West North East
C Pass D Pass
1 NT
Opening Lead: S 6

As the game at the Mad Hatter’s continued, Alice found herself partnered by the March Hare. Meanwhile, the two Red Queens, who were kibitzing, continued to bicker about who was greater.”I’m the most potent card in Wonderland,” the Queen of Hearts insisted haughtily. “Woe to an ace or king who dares capture me!”

“Bosh,” the Queen of Diamonds sighed to Alice. “If my cousin were any more self-absorbed, she’d be a paper towel.”

As today’s South, Alice bid 1NT instead of one heart at her second turn, trying to grab the play at notrump since the Hare’s dummy play was even more erratic than his bidding. But the Hare raised to 3NT, and Alice saw that she had miscalculated when the Dormouse, sitting West, led a spade. East, the Hatter, took the jack and king and considered his next play so nervously that he took a bite out of his teacup. But feeling obliged to continue the best defense, he led the queen of hearts.

“Off with his head!” roared the Queen of Hearts. “How dare he send my card to be captured.”

Alice was dismayed also. If she took the ace, came to a high club and lost a diamond finesse, the Hatter would lead another heart, and West would win and run the spades. In desperation — and so the Hatter could hold on to his head — Alice let the queen of hearts win. But East led another heart, forcing out dummy’s ace, and when he took the king of diamonds, he led a third heart. Down Alice went.

If East leads a club or a low heart at Trick Three, the contract is safe.


 

Copyright © 2015, Tribune Media Services

About the Author:

Frank Stewart is one of the world’s most prolific bridge journalists. He won many tournament events before devoting himself to writing. Frank has published hundreds of magazine and on-line articles. He has written 24 books, among them “Becoming an Expert,” “Play Bridge With Me,” “Who Has the Queen?” and most recently “Keys to Winning Bridge.” In 2014, Frank Stewart received the International Bridge Press Association’s Alan Truscott Award. He has been the senior analyst for ACBL-wide Charity and International Fund events since 1980. Frank and his wife, Charlotte, a pediatric speech pathologist, live in Fayette AL. They have a 17-year-old daughter.

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