A bid that boomerangs

May 25, 1958

Among the Europeanswhom we delight in welcoming to our shores is Adam Meredith, a gentleman ofCeltic extraction who has been representing Great Britain in internationalcompetition for several years.

He played a starrole in 1955 when the British team dislodged us from the world championshipthrone which we had occupied for five years.

On his first visithere Meredith was invited by the American Contract Bridge League to participatein our Life Master's Individual championship, an event in which one faces a newpartner on every set of deals. It was my good fortune to draw Mr. Meredith on arather active set of boards. On one of them our visitor departed from hisswashbuckling manner to bid a hand with utmost delicacy, enabling us to reach agrand slam contract in no trump. At the opening lead, as I made the gesture toclaim all the tricks, a wail of disappointment was heard from our guest. "Iwas rather hoping it would require a double squeeze," he complained. If thehand were such a laydown our result would be equaled by most of thecontestants. However, we harvested almost all the points on the deal, for manyof the Life Masters, holding a solid seven-card suit, cautiously reached forthe safety of the suit contract and failed to realize the extra 10 points whichthe no-trump contract yields. For the benefit of those not familiar withtournament mechanics, it should be pointed out that in match point play, eachdeal represents a separate contest, and points are awarded on a basis ofcomparative performance on the same deals. To outscore your adversary by 1,000points may be no more conclusive than beating him by a mere 10 points. In thisrespect it resembles match play at golf. If your adversary takes eight strokeson a hole which you negotiate in only two strokes, the net gain by you is justone hole. The result, of course, was very gratifying, but in the next deal,shown here, we were victimized by a play of outstanding brilliance.

Meredith sat Eastand considered the vulnerable situation ideal for muddying the waters. Hetherefore overcalled North's club bid with two spades. South bid two no trump.My bid of three hearts was perhaps doubtful strategy but I knew it was my lastchance to get into the act, and the call might have the merit of directing thedefense. North went on to three no trump and the bidding ended serenely.

I opened the 8 ofspades which forced out declarer's jack. Declarer realized that he must developthe club suit for his contract but also recognized the danger of giving up anearly club trick. From the bidding he concluded that West had a six-card suitand from his failure to lead it he drew the inference that it was not solid. Itappeared a certainty that East held a singleton honor, undoubtedly the king orqueen. If East wins the club trick and leads a high heart it will be apparentto West that he can safely overtake.

Declarer thereforehit upon a ruse for which I fell hook, line and sinker. His first play was alow heart. I was beguiled into going up with the queen, catching my partner'ssingleton king (though it would have made no difference had I played low). Nowdeclarer had time to give up a club to East and raked in 10 tricks.

Reporting this dealwould afford me a great deal more pleasure had I gone up with the ace ofhearts, but it will go down in the records that I failed to rise to theoccasion.

EXTRA TRICK
The weak jump overcall is a cranky petard. Carefully used, it can damage theenemy; but because it is a weak kind of bomb it may also tickle them intotaking the action that will hoist the petardeer. This bid should be labeled:"Explosive! Handle with care."

North and South vulnerable North dealer

NORTH

[Queen of Spades]
[6 of Spades]
[2 of Spades]
[Jack of Hearts]
[7 of Hearts]
[Ace of Clubs]
[King of Clubs]
[7 of Clubs]
[6 of Clubs]
[2 of Clubs]
[Ace of Diamonds]
[Jack of Diamonds]
[2 of Diamonds]

WEST

[8 of Spades]
[4 of Spades]
[Ace of Hearts]
[Queen of Hearts]
[10 of Hearts]
[9 of Hearts]
[6 of Hearts]
[2 of Hearts]
[Jack of Clubs]
[8 of Clubs]
[4 of Clubs]
[8 of Diamonds]
[3 of Diamonds]

SOUTH

[Ace of Spades]
[Jack of Spades]
[7 of Spades]
[8 of Hearts]
[5 of Hearts]
[4 of Hearts]
[3 of Hearts]
[10 of Clubs]
[9 of Clubs]
[King of Diamonds]
[Queen of Diamonds]
[10 of Diamonds]
[4 of Diamonds]

EAST

[King of Spades]
[10 of Spades]
[9 of Spades]
[5 of Spades]
[3 of Spades]
[King of Hearts]
[Queen of Clubs]
[5 of Clubs]
[3 of Clubs]
[9 of Diamonds]
[7 of Diamonds]
[6 of Diamonds]
[5 of Diamonds]

NORTH

1 [Club]
3 NO TRUMP

EAST

2 [Spade]
PASS

SOUTH

2 NO TRUMP
PASS

WEST

3 [Heart]
PASS

Opening lead: 8 of spades

PHOTO ILLUSTRATION

HOLE YARDS PAR R1 R2 R3 R4
OUT
HOLE YARDS PAR R1 R2 R3 R4
IN
Eagle (-2)
Birdie (-1)
Bogey (+1)
Double Bogey (+2)