A Bridge Phantasmagoria




Samaritans Anonymous once made this announcement. “If you feel like committing suicide please telephone us and we will help you.” This ambiguous statement was greeted with considerable amusement, but our protagonists on the hands below did not need any help to commit “felo de se,” they did it all by themselves.

Game all: North deals


S K4
H AK85
D KQ10
C AQ103


S QJ1093
H J76
D 652
C 74


S 652
H Q103
D 974
C J982


S A87
H 942
D AJ83
C K65


Playing Precision Club, North opened One Club and South gave a positive 1NT. North bid Two Clubs asking for strength and South showed high range by bidding 2NT. North followed with Three Clubs for suits up the line and verified that partner had diamonds but no major, whereupon he made it 6NT.

West led the queen of spades and declarer won and rattled off four diamonds without thought, only to find himself faced with a discard from dummy. In other words, he had squeezed his own dummy. As always happens, he now guessed wrong and naturally discarded a heart and both opponents discarded spades. When the clubs were unkind he finished one shy.

The correct approach was to duck a heart at trick two to preserve the dual chance of a favourable break in hearts or clubs. In defence, it is much more difficult to avoid the trap.

Love all: North deals


H 854
D AK10
C KJ42


S 10652
H AQ93
D 62
C 1096


S K93
H K106
D J987
C 875


S 874
H J72
D Q543


North opened a Precision One Club to which South replied 1NT. North made the system rebid of 3NT showing a minimum and denying a major and South saw no reason to disturb this.

West led the three of hearts and East won the king and followed with the ten, which held the trick, and the defence took two more heart tricks. North threw a spade and East signalled with the nine of spades and declarer also let go a spade.

On a spade from West, South went right up with the ace. Four club tricks later, East found himself squeezed in spades and diamonds. That fourth heart had done it.

Had West overtaken the ten of hearts and switched to a spade, East cannot be squeezed. He will get in later with either a spade or a diamond and a heart through will beat the contract.


by Carl Dickel