Bridge - The Scotsman 03/06/2013

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On this deal from the Teltscher Trophy (Senior Camrose) most teams, including Scotland, reached 6C by West. North led the king of hearts to the ace and Bernard Teltscher, the sponsor, showed good technique.

He established his side suit by playing ace of spades, spade ruff, and returning to hand with a top club to ruff another spade with the jack of clubs. He ruffed a heart and cashed the other top club, but there was no way home when North turned up with four trump. All he could do was run spades, allowing North to make a ruff with his small trump, but maintaining trump control to escape for one down.

The Northern Irish pairing of Greer Mackenzie and Hastings Campbell began with an old-fashioned Acol Two, and managed to stop in 5C. Declarer may have been wondering whether he had missed a making slam when he adopted a slightly inferior line. He won the ace of hearts, cashed the ace of diamonds, and then played ace and king of spades. He ruffed a spade with the nine of clubs, but South overruffed with his singleton ten. He returned a diamond for declarer to ruff. Declarer ruffed another spade with the jack of clubs, but when he now cashed a top club South showed out and he too had to go one down. Unlucky perhaps, but a salutary lesson. Winning players concentrate on the contract they are actually playing, not the one they might wish they were in.