Rubber bridge, 40 partscore for North-South, South deals.


xJ 8 5

uJ 8 7 4

vQ 10 8 7 3



xA K Q 7 3 x9 4

uQ 2 u10 9

vK 9 6 5 4 vA 2

w10 w9 8 7 5 4 3 2


x10 6 2

uA K 6 5 3


wK Q J 6

The bidding:


1u 2u- 3u All pass

-Spades and a minor

Opening lead: Ace of x

Another lovely hand from a 1991 article by the late Patrick Jourdain, of Wales. Jourdain was East, again partnered by ”Maestro Junior,” a fine player but a horrible partner, who expected his partners to find the winning play -- even when that play was nearly impossible to find.

West started with three rounds of spades, Jourdain discarding a low club, before shifting to diamonds. Jourdain won with his ace and returned the suit, but declarer ruffed and quickly drew trumps before claiming nine tricks and his contract.

”Nothing to do about that one,” thought Jourdain, but the dark look on his partner’s face made him reconsider. After some thought, Jourdain saw the light. ”I should have discarded my ace of diamonds on the third spade,” said Jourdain. ”You could then have cashed the king of diamonds and continued the suit. My ruff would have promoted your queen of trumps into the setting trick. So sorry, partner. I’ll try to do better.”

Jourdain was too much of a gentleman to point out an alternate defense. Had West shifted to a diamond at trick two, Jourdain could have won with his ace and reverted to spades. It would then have been a simple matter for him to discard his remaining diamond on the third spade. A diamond ruff at that point would have resulted in the same uppercut.

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