Goren bridge: Discovery

November 16, 2023 12:57 pm | Updated 12:57 pm IST

Today’s deal is from a team match in Europe. South was Irish expert Hugh McGann. McGann was not particularly surprised to hear East open one club. Many European players open one club with 12-14 point balanced hands, regardless of their length in the minor suits. A one diamond opening is natural, but it shows a distributional hand.

McGann passed at his first turn, but he blasted to game at his next turn. West started with the ace and another heart, hoping it was East who had the singleton. South ruffed East’s king, setting up the queen of hearts in dummy, but there was no entry to it. McGann drew trumps in three rounds and now knew the entire distribution. East, who had shown four spades in the auction and two hearts in the play, had three clubs. That meant that he started with four diamonds.

McGann cashed two high diamonds, hoping for the jack to fall. No jack, so McGann ran all his trumps. This led to a three-card ending where McGann had one spade and two diamonds. East had to keep two diamonds, so he came down to the singleton ace of spades. A spade from McGann end-played East, who had to lead a diamond from his jack. Had East shed both high spades, West would have won with the queen, but then he would have to give dummy the jack of spades and the queen of hearts. Beautifully played!

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