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Any one for golf?

The other month I took part in a Charity Golf-Bridge Pro-Am at Surrey’s charming Coombe Hill. Those who’ve seen me play may be surprised to hear I (with partner Paul Tustain) won the Golf. We lost the Bridge. As co-organiser – with the amazing and wonderful ARBC member Godfrey King – I devised a Bridge Quiz – which I gave over dinner.

Try these three of the 12 questions :(1) You are: (a) More likely to hold 11 points than 9 (b) Less likely to hold 11 points than 9 (c) Just as likely to hold 11 points as 9. (2) Who invented the Stayman convention? (a) Sam Stayman, (b) Jack Marx and George Rapee simultaneously across the ocean, (c) Nobody knows. (3). You have three finesses to take. Assuming that each finesse is a 50% shot, what is the chance that at least two of them will work? (a) 25% (b) 33% (c) 50%. (Click here for answers)

On this deal from the Coombe Hill Charity Duplicate, the most common score was 4  by East making plus two. South invariably led a heart, enabling declarer to rise with dummy’s jack, draw trumps in three rounds, cash  AK shedding dummy’s club and merely concede to the  A.

East Deals
N-S Vul
J 8 4
8 7 4 2
K 10 9 8 4
Q 10 9 7 3
J 2
K J 10 9 6
W   E
A K 6 5 2
A K 6 4 3
6 3
Q 9 8 7 5
A 5 3
A J 7 5 2
West North East South
    1  2 1
4  4 NT2 Pass 5 
Pass Pass Dbl Pass
Pass Pass    
  1. Michaels, showing five-five in hearts and an unspecified minor.
  2. Please bid your minor, partner.

At our featured table N-S found the unfavourable vulnerability “sacrifice” in 5  (doubled). Down one would have been a good save. South was to do better. Ruffing the opening spade lead, declarer crossed to the (queen and) king of clubs, then led dummy’s singleton ten of hearts. East rose with the king and switched to his singleton queen of diamonds, but declarer won the ace and ruffed a heart, noting West’s jack with interest. Declarer returned to his ace of clubs, drawing the last trump, then led the queen of hearts. When West discarded, he could count East for his 5  5  1  2  shape and discarded a diamond from dummy.

East won the ace and, with no more diamonds, led a second spade. Declarer ruffed, cashed  98 discarding dummy’s remaining diamonds and crossruffed. 11 tricks and doubled game made.

Answers to Quiz: (1)(b): the distribution is skewed because you can hold more than 20 points but not fewer than zero. (2)(b): It all happened as WW2 broke out. Rapee
gave Stayman the convention to popularise, whilst the self-effacing Marx kept it to his inner coterie of North London Acolytes. (3)(c): The chances of more finesses working than failing is 50-50.

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