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Ten Tricks with a Bad Split

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This is one of the hands played in the tournament event held last week at dozens of clubs with hundreds of participants. On Friday, the Boise winners were Charlene Martindale of Boise partnered with Riley Burton of Twin Falls, and on this hand they reached the contract of 4 hearts on the auction shown. North's opening bid of 2 spades shows a suit of 6 cards with not enough points for a 1-bid and is meant to pre-empt the opponents. When Riley balanced with 2 notrump, showing a strong hand, Charlene bid the heart game.

She won the first spade lead on the dummy and discovered the bad trump break at trick 2, winning the heart lead with the ace as north showed out. She then led a heart to the dummy, playing the 10 when south followed low, and cashed the king of hearts. She played the ace and king of clubs and led the third club, trumping with the heart nine and placing the lead in her own hand in order to lead the jack of diamonds. South took this with the ace and led another diamond on which Charlene played the 10 and then led the diamond king. In the end she won 1 spade, 5 hearts, 2 diamonds and 2 clubs. When north gained the lead in spades, south had to discard a diamond and then trumped Charlene's last diamond, which was a loser anyway. Well played!

Mary Henry and Vern Nafus, who celebrated his 90th birthday earlier this year, were second in an entry of 32 pairs. Will you still be able to play bridge in your 10th decade? I hope I will.

Other winners in the recent Unit Christmas party in strat B were Kendra and Geoff Bridges, while Mary Cook and Barbara Cromwell won strat C. Congratulations to all the winners.

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