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Simultaneously Poor
André Kueh

I played in a BGB Sim pairs on Monday, [in summer 2006; André sent this to me ages ago and I only just found it again – Ed] and encounted the following poor bridge. I had persuaded my partner to play four weak twos, and he had opened 2C in the second seat. Our opponent was looking at this collection in the third seat:

S A 9 2
H A K
D 9 8 6 5 3
C A Q J

What would you do? Would you bid 2NT with three stoppers, or settle for the sure plus in case clubs managed to be established and run? So obviously it was passed, and passed out, I looking strangely around the table with my mouldy 5-count. The full hand was as follows:

East deals  S K T 8 4 
 H Q 9 5 2 
 D T 7 2 
 C 4 2 
 S A 9 2 
 H A K 
 D 9 8 6 5 3 
 C A Q J 
none vul  S 5 3 
 H J T 8 6 3 
 D A K Q 4 
 C T 8 
 S Q J 7 6 
 H 7 4 
 D J 
 C K 9 7 6 5 3 

So they had conveniently missed 6D and 3NT to defend our 2C!

Never mind. Look at the West hand again. With the king of clubs onside, you would expect to beat 2C by at least one trick. So the play goes, just in case the outside tricks run away, cash them. Of course we might be looking for a ruff too! So you cash three tricks and continue with a spade. Declarer wins in the dummy, and pitches a diamond on the HQ, which you of course ruff. Now you give a spade ruff to partner. Up to five tricks! So, to ensure you get your CQ, when your partner returns a diamond, you ruff it!

Of course that gave us the contract, and we had an unlikely +90. It wasn't a worldwide top: there were three +100s, one +150 and one +170 (!) Still, a 99% is a good result. And I think that counts for poorbridge!