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A Lighter Look

“Ruffly” Speaking.

You have to keep partner focused…or at least that is the only reason West can account for the following banter.

The opposition had, to one player at the table’s frustration, pulled up short of slam at the 5 level. 5Heart-small or 5Spade-small are cursed contracts when you go that high voluntarily. The “out” column beckons ominously. “Please, if we go down, make it down two and we will feel a lot better."

So, partner sat East on this lay-out:

9 7 3
A 10 9 5 4 2
Q 3
8 6 4
K 8 7 6 3
10 9
9 5
W   E
8 5 4 2
10 8 7 3 2
Q J 10 5 2
A K J 6
K Q 6 4
West North East South
Pass 2  Pass 3 
Pass 4  Pass 4 NT
Pass 5  Pass 5 
All pass      


The lead was Diamond-smallT. West was relieved that he was not defending slam. East was sad at the 5 level sign-off. South could just about say “concede two trumps and let’s get on with the next board”. However, just in case West about to score a ruff, South played the board out. Dummy’s queen won the first trick, to be followed by Spade-small9 losing to the king. Back came a diamond won in hand with the Spade-smallQ drawing out the Spade-smallA.

Again, no claim. However, East switched to the Heart-smallQ which did nothing for the defence. Declarer drew West’s last trump and put the defence out of their misery.

“A shame you did not continue diamonds,” commented West who had ambitions of beating dummy’s Spade-small7 on the third round of diamonds with that Spade-small8. East was contrite. South was relieved. Down one would be no great score this time.

The round continued and after which East got into discussion about “the nothing board 7”. Pretty dull, really, except at this other table where 6Spade-small proved a little tough to make. Rumour has it that this contract was doubled, quite reasonably!

Finding the Truth

The discussion got East into (unfortunately) examining all four hands. It got East to ask his partner how he was going to ruff the third round of diamonds?” You had three diamonds, 1097” commented East.

“I know” said West, a little sheepishly. I will leave it to your judgement if you think he knew when he made the comment about the ruff. I have my doubts!

(an “inobservance award” to any reader who did not notice the number of cards West held above…).and West is eternally grateful for East not returning a third round of diamonds, saving any possibility of a revoke! That’s called “looking after partner” which is more than West did with his comment at the end of the hand!

Richard Solomon

I know who made a fool of himself in the above deal. It seems to me that he is the only player in the country who makes a fool of himself at the bridge table. He is certainly the only one who admits to such happenings.

Come on, you readers. Share your amusing experiences with the rest of us. Tell us about them. You can remain anonymous just like the above West player. We want to hear about great plays too but not here. Come on, tell on yourself, your partner, anyone….and let’s laugh along with you.


Email or call me on 09 232 8494


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