Bridge column for Jan. 2

2013-01-02T00:00:00Z Bridge column for Jan. 2Bridge Tips • Tannah Hirsch stltoday.com
January 02, 2013 12:00 am  • 

Both vulnerable. South deals.

NORTH

♠K 9 7 5

♥Q 5

♦K 9 4 2

♣J 5 2

WEST EAST

♠10 8 6 2 ♠J 4 3

♥J 7 3 ♥10 9 6 4 2

♦J 6 ♦10 8 7 5 3

♣K 10 8 6 ♣Void

SOUTH

♠A Q

♥A K 8

♦A Q

♣A Q 9 7 4 3

The bidding:

SOUTH WEST NORTH EAST

2♣ Pass 2NT Pass

3♣ Pass 4♣ Pass

6♣ Pass Pass Pass

Opening lead: Two of

The most successful club in the afterlife was Lucifer’s Netherworld Club — where else would you expect to find the largest population of bridge players? Among its star members was England’s Henry VIII, who showed the same ruthlessness at the card table as he did as king. Rumor has it that this is his favorite hand.

The bidding was not scientific. Two clubs was an artificial game force, and the rest of the auction was natural. Not knowing how to proceed, the monarch simply jumped to six clubs, hoping that North would raise with extra values for his positive response. 

West led the deuce of spades, and as soon as dummy appeared, Henry realized that the contract was safe so long as West did not hold all four missing trumps. He won the first trick in hand with the ace and immediately cashed the ace of clubs. Now declarer had to reduce his trumps to the same length as West’s, then engineer an endplay.

“Off with her head,” roared the king as he sent the queen of spades to her doom. She was overtaken with the king of spades and a spade was ruffed in the closed hand. A heart to the queen permitted another spade ruff, and declarer’s trumps were down to the same length as West’s.

Henry cashed the ace-king of hearts and ace of diamonds, then led the queen of diamonds. The table’s king won the trick and a diamond was returned, declarer ruffing with the queen. West could do no better than overruff and return a club — and the last two tricks belonged to His Royal Majesty.

gorenbridge@aol.com

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