Opening Lead: Eight of spades.
Another word for the hearts in a bridge deck is “Valentines.” Valentine’s Day is two days from now, and valentines worked very well for this declarer in a recent Unit Championship.
The Bidding: South has only 11 points; but he has touching honors, distribution, and two tens. North’s cue bid promises a fit in hearts and a good dummy. North’s raise to game was very sporting.
The Play: The opening lead was won with the ace and the queen was returned. Declarer won the king, finessed the jack of diamonds, and led a heart towards the board. West ducked and the heart eight won the trick. The ace of diamonds dropped the king while a spade was discarded. The good queen of diamonds was led and a club tossed. Declarer still had to lose the ace of hearts, but a cross-ruff brought in ten tricks and a top board.
The Lesson: Five pairs played in valentines, but only this pair won 10 tricks. Be sure and treat your valentine well on Valentine’s Day and every day.
The Richland Duplicate Bridge Club has a game at the Richland Community Center at 5:30 p.m. every Monday. The public is invited. We generally finish before 9:30 p.m. We also have a game on the first and third Friday at noon at the Old Country Buffet, just south of the mall on Columbia Center Boulevard. Call Tom Edwards at 946-1824 for details.