The Bridge Club of Martha’s Vineyard concluded its 2015 season at the Tisbury Council on Aging the morning of Sept. 12, and it was quite a show. Connie Batty presented club president and game director Clara Hargrave with a bouquet. Clara, club vice president and director-in-training Colleen Morris, club secretary Yvonne Bauer and coffee maestro Bill Davenport did such a considerate job that it seemed only fitting that three East-West teams tied for first: Clara and Colleen, Trudy Ulmer and Barbara Alleyne, Brooks Robards and her husband yours truly.

It isn’t often that I’m glad my mistake contributed to such a comfy outcome. On Board Six, we were sitting North-South, with North dealing and North-South vulnerable:

NORTH (Robards)
♠A K Q 10 7
♥A J 8 6
♦6 2
♣A 4

WEST                           EAST
♠ —                            ♠4 3 2
♥ K Q 9 5                   ♥10 7 4 2
♦ Q J 10 9 8 4            ♦A 7 5
♣ 10 7 3                      ♣9 8 2

SOUTH (Kaplan)
♠J 9 8 6 5
♦K 3
♣ K Q J 6 5

The bidding proceeded as follows:

North                East                South                West
1♠                   Pass                2 ♣                   2 ♦
3♥                   Pass                3 ♠                   Pass
4♠                   Pass               4NT                    Pass
5♣*                 Pass               5♠                     All Pass

* One or four of the five key cards (four aces, spade king)

Opening lead:♦A.

When Brooks showed four likely key cards, I suddenly, thought, “Omigod! West has the ace-queen of diamonds, so they’ll lead through my king and take the first two tricks.” So I bid an auction-closing 5♠.

Do you see where I went wrong? Not in misguessing the diamond ace’s location. That was understandable. But I could have protected my diamond king by bidding 6NT and putting West on lead. Granted, I’d be gambling on a lead of the diamond queen to the ace so I could claim the next 12 tricks for +1440 instead of +680.

Afterward, we repaired to The Barn in Oak Bluffs for lunch and a club meeting. Planning started for an American Bridge Association regional tournament on the Vineyard in 2017. But let’s not get too far ahead of ourselves. The 2016 season starts on the second Saturday of June.