Bridge - The Scotsman 03/09/12

In recent years Scotland’s Open Team has performed disappointingly in European Championships.

In the World Bridge Olympiad the Open Team was Charles and Vi Outred, Catherine and David Gerrard, and Jim Hay and Jun Nakamaru-Pinder. Although they were selected rather by default when few other pairs showed any interest in representing Scotland at this level they finished 12th in their 15-team group.

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About a third of the field reached slam on this deal from the Round Robin, but few made it. One who did, without the aid of a diamond lead from North, was Jim Hay. He got the lead of the ten of hearts, won in dummy to lead a spade towards the West hand. If South ducks the contract can be made with relative ease: two ruffs in dummy fell the ace of spades, so all you lose is one diamond.

But South took the ace of spades and returned the ten of diamonds. The simple line, and a quick way to go down, is to finesse. Jim sensed that the finesse would fail, and he saw a way to make twelve tricks with four spades, two aces and six trump tricks. He rose with the ace of diamonds, cashed one more round of trump, then played winning spades, discarding three diamonds from dummy as North followed suit and South could not ruff. Now he ruffed one diamond, returned to the ace of clubs and ruffed his last diamond. Finally, he returned to hand with a club ruff to draw the last trump and cash his fifth spade.