For the amusement of the bridge gods

by Bill Briscombe

Have you ever wondered why we were put here on this Earth? There are those who believe that we have been created as entertainment for some higher order form of life. After being involved in the following hand from the local Swiss Teams Club Challenge, I certainly felt that some Bridge God was amusing himself at my expense.

Holding 43 9 AKQJ10653 A7, you have the pleasure of hearing partner open 1h. The auction proceeds uncontested 1h-3d-3h-4d-5d. Now partner has denied a spade control (we cue-bid singletons below the game level), so pass is automatic. Instead, you take a completely unjustified pot at 6d, mentally preparing your apologies in advance.

EW Vul.
S 107
H AKJ852
D 72
C K62
Dealer North
S AQ965
H Q64
D 984
C 105
W         E
S KJ82
H 1073
D -
C QJ9843
S 43
H 9
D AKQJ10653
C A7

Then comes the first intervention from the gods - RHO leads the cQ out of turn! You summon the TD, who explains your options. Naturally, you demand that LHO leads a club.

With the hearts breaking 3-3, you establish a heart for a spade discard and make the overtrick. `I would have led the ace of spades' your LHO tells you as you nod sympathetically and write down +1390.

When your teammates rejoin the table, naturally you are feeling rather smug from the proceeds of your ill-gotten gains. However they look glum, and lose no time in telling you that `they made that slam hand' as they sit down. It transpires that the auction at the other table was 1h-4NT-5d-6d, making North declarer, and with East now legitimately on lead, the same cQ was tabled! More intervention from up on high?

So now your teammates are elated that the `slam' hand didn't cost, and you are miserable that the result of your endeavour has turned to dust. Oppo didn't make the overtrick; one lousy IMP in.