Opening Lead: Queen of spades
With the passing of George Sahler, the Tri-Cities lost a true gentleman and a very fine bridge player.
George was south and played the hand like an expert.
The Bidding: The club opening was very thin and many would have passed. With no five-card major and two three-card minors, always open with 1C. West overcalled 1S and George’s partner forced with 2D. George had to bid 2NT and partner raised to 3NT. With 12 points opposite 12, it was not a laydown.
The Play: George took time out to figure his best approach. He knew that he would have to find the queen of diamonds; and if he guessed wrong, he better find East with the queen and no hearts to lead to partner. He ducked the queen of hearts and took the jack with his king! Now he finessed West for the queen and it lost. His contract was safe because East had no spades to lead. George won a spade, a heart, four diamonds and three clubs and fulfilled his contract.
What Happened? One N/S pair was very lucky. They took the opening spade lead and finessed East for the queen of diamonds, making an overtrick. Three pairs played in part scores and made their contracts, and two pairs went down in 3NT.