Rubber bridge, 40 part score North-South, South deals.


xK Q J

uQ 9 5 3

v6 5 4 3 2



xA 10 9 7 5 x8 6

uA 2 u7 4

vA v10 9 8 7

wK 9 7 5 4 wJ 10 8 6 2


x4 3 2

uK J 10 8 6

vK Q J

wA Q

The bidding:


1u 2u- 3u Pass

Pass Pass

-Spades and a minor

Opening lead: Ace of diamonds

The late Patrick Jourdain, of Wales, was a fine bridge player and an outstanding bridge writer. We are indebted to him for today’s deal, culled from one of his many articles.

Jourdain makes the setting a rubber bridge club. The dominant player is a lout who loudly finds fault with his partners whenever they fail to find the winning play, no matter how esoteric that play might be. The lout, referred to as ”Maestro Junior” -- he apparently inherited some of his rudeness -- was sitting North.

Jourdain, South, was pleased with himself for stopping at the three level. That was high enough to convert their partial and the dummy was very suitable for this contract. West shifted to the ace of spades at trick two and continued with another spade to dummy’s king. The defense was obviously threatening to ruff something, so Jourdain quickly led a trump. West grabbed his ace, gave his partner a spade ruff, and got a diamond ruff in return. Jourdain finished a surprising down one.

Trying to be witty, Jourdain said ”Bad luck partner, that the trumps split 2-2.” One look at his partner’s angry face and he knew that his attempt at humor hadn’t gone well. Giving the hand some careful thought, he finally realized that he could have done better. ”Sorry partner,” he said. ”Before touching trumps, I should have cashed the ace of clubs and led the queen of clubs. When West covers with the king, I simply discard the winning spade from dummy. I can ruff the third spade high and then draw trumps.”

2016 Tribune Content Agency