Strange things happen at the bridge table, and results can be hilarious. This hand came up in the open pairs event at the recent Las Vegas Regional, and sitting north I bid 1 Notrump in response to my partner's opening diamond call. The hand does not look all that promising, but the club suit is good and I didn't dare to pass my partner any semblance of a response. She, of course, immediately put me in 3 notrump, my greatest fear. I felt only slightly better after seeing the dummy. Her diamond holding makes it hard for the opponents to generate more than 2 tricks and once I get the club ace out of the way, I can force an entry to my hand in hearts and hopefully the rest of the club suit will provide the tricks I need. This at least was the plan I developed before playing to trick 1. My right-hand opponent took the king of diamonds and led a club of all things! Now I could get the clubs going and not lose too much in the dummy.
Things got even stranger when the east player won her ace of clubs and led back that suit, supposing her partner to have strength in clubs. Why else would he break the suit? This situation was now better than I could have imagined because not only was I put back in my hand to run the club suit, I could also try the (winning, it turned out) heart finesse, making 5 notrump on a hand that could be real trouble to make 3 on.
I was bragging about my result to a friend who also played the hand, and he made me quiet very quickly. He made 6 on the hand because he got the lead of the queen of hearts! That has to be the strangest lead I can imagine, but it happened.
You can participate in the wonderful game of bridge at the Boise Bridge Club, where we play six times a week and offer lessons at all levels. Call Craig Jones or Ian Martindale at 327-0166.