Bridge - The Scotsman, 11/04/13

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The Lady Milne Trophy, the Women’s Home International, takes place this weekend in Edinburgh. Scotland are the holders, and, as host nation, they have two teams this year. Spectators are welcome, or you can watch developments on BBO. Perhaps there will be some play to match this sparkling effort by Sandra Penfold of England.

She decided that her hand would be no use to partner in a no-trump contract, and leapt to 5C over the 2NT opener. She had got the bidding right – a diamond to the ace and diamond return removes dummy’s entry for the clubs and 3NT is likely to go two down. But could she make 5C?

West led the jack of hearts, and she tried the queen – if the finesse succeeded she could discard two diamonds and so make her game. She ruffed the king of hearts and led a club towards dummy. West, playing reverse attitude signals, discarded a discouraging ten of spades, hoping partner would lead a diamond when he got on lead. That was all the clue Penfold needed. She cashed the ace of hearts, discarding a spade, then led the eight of hearts, discarding her other spade when East could not cover. West led another heart, ruffed. Now a second club to dummy, and the king of spades, covered and ruffed. Back to dummy with the last club honour to cash two spades, discarding diamonds.

A neat avoidance play meant she lost one heart and the ace of diamonds, but no spades.