Bridge - The Scotsman 11/07/13

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TIM Rees and Jenny Cooper achieved one of the biggest swings in the European Open Mixed Teams on this deal. Their Polish opponents took an optimistic view of the North-South cards; in contrast their South team-mate was unduly pessimistic.

The first seven bids were identical in both rooms, but I did not find a second bid on the South cards. We defended 2H undoubled. David Liggat led a club; we played ace, king and another spade, ruffed with the ace of hearts; the ace of diamonds and two more trump tricks meant two down, +100.

The Polish South liked his cards. He rebid clubs, then, when Tim and Jenny competed to 3H, decided to try 3NT rather than double. Tim saw some defence to that contract and doubled. North, silent up till now, seemed to have rather more than partner might expect, and redoubled. South was too macho to run, but the result was gory. Tim led a heart to the ace, and declarer crossed to the king of spades to take a losing club finesse. Tim switched to diamonds and dummy took the ace to play a second club. When the suit did not break he was four down for -2200, a 20-imp swing.

Declarer does better to play on spades: dummy’s pips are good enough to ensure four tricks in that suit to go with three aces. Better still to heed the gypsy’s warning and pull to the unbeatable 4C.