Goren bridge: African courage

December 14, 2023 04:03 pm | Updated 04:03 pm IST

Opening lead: ?

Our thanks to the great English player and writer, Andrew Robson, for bringing this deal to our attention.

South in today’s deal was Les Amoils. Amoils is originally from South Africa, but he has lived in Canada for many years. He showed the heart of a lion in today’s deal. North was in love with his suit when he jumped to three hearts, promising values that he couldn’t quite deliver. Amoils was enthusiastic about slam prospects, but he was slightly worried about not having a diamond control. He bid four diamonds, ostensibly promising a control in that suit, hoping his bid would inhibit a potential diamond lead.

West doubled the four-diamond bid to encourage a lead in that suit should his partner be on lead. Amoils had a decision to make at his next turn. A man with less courage, a bridge columnist perhaps, would have passed four hearts. Amoils brazenly jumped to six no trump, putting West on lead. West might have had an automatic diamond lead, perhaps with ace-king or king-queen, but he might not lead a diamond from any other holding as it would likely give away a trick to Amoils.

Amoils’ courage paid off when West chose to lead a spade and Amoils took all 13 tricks. Les the Lion Heart!

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