To the Bitter End

Dealer: South
Both sides vulnerable

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

In late 1941, England was still trying to recover from The Blitz. On October 29, Winston Churchill was invited to address the boys at the Harrow School, which he himself had attended. The story goes that Churchill rose and spoke thus:”Never, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, give up. Never give up. Never give up. Never give up.”

And he sat down.

The story is apocryphal since Churchill’s remarks were actually extended (and typically eloquent). Still, his advice was and is worth taking.

In today’s deal, North-South had a slight miscalculation in the bidding. They had a combined 32 high-card points and two five-card suits, so to reach 6NT was normal. But as it happened, seven of the missing points were the A-K of diamonds — and there were only 11 top tricks as well.

When West led the ten of spades, South won with the queen and proceeded to cash the queen, king and ace of clubs. If the clubs had split 3-3, the slam would have been home with an overtrick, but when West showed out, South shrugged and conceded down one.

If you had been South, would you have given up so easily?

Suppose South takes his three spade tricks and then five hearts, discarding a club and two diamonds from dummy. East, who has room for five cards, falls victim to a “squeeze without the count.” If he throws a club, dummy takes four clubs. If East throws the king of diamonds, South leads his jack of diamonds, setting up his queen for the 12th trick with the queen of clubs as an entry.

You never know what may happen if you refuse to give up.


Copyright © 2015, Tribune Media Services

2018-03-02T15:13:27+00:00By |Categories: Chicago Tribune Bridge Column, Frank Stewart|0 Comments

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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