I spent my formative years at Highgate School in North London, where I was very frightened of some of the masters. 

I was once beaten for forgetting to write my name in a mathematics book! I have achieved a minor revenge by writing ‘Beaten by the Masters’ (published by Cassell’s), a humorous account of bridge at the school. The characters involved are the actual masters of that time. 

Here they face the mistresses of Channing School for girls. The Headmaster, A.J.F. Doulton, protects with 2C and then sees the opponents bid to a slam! How would you play 6S on a club attack? Miss Frowde ruffed the second club, played the diamond ace, and ruffed a diamond. 

She then played the king and ace of trumps, exposing the 4-1 break. By running good diamonds through West, she was able to land the slam. 

"You should have let them in 1D, Headmaster," observes the senile Reverend Benson. "I don’t think we can beat it but, of course, they wouldn’t score so meditor

What would you say now on the West cards?


You have already shown a giant hand by opening 2C and rebidding your heart suit. To bid any further would imply a lack of trust in partner. The essence of good slam bidding is to suggest a slam below the game level and then to leave any advance to your partner, rather than guess whether they have the cards that you need. Here you have four holes in your hand and no reason at all to expect partner to fill three of them.

Awards: Pass - 10, 5H/4NT - 4, 6H - 2.

— David Bird (Knight Features)