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A Distant Memory

A Distant Memory

By In 16th World Bridge Series On 31st August 2022

If Nicola Smith send you a deal you can be sure it will be something special. This came up in the last qualifying round of the Mixed Teams:

North led the Picche4 and when declarer played dummy’s nine Nicola won with the queen and switched to a heart, North winning with the jack and returning a diamond for the ten, jack and ace. Declarer’s next move was a club for the ten, queen and three. When declarer continued with a club to the eight, North won with the jack and played a second diamond. Now declarer had no way to score more than eight tricks, which resulted in a swing of 10 IMPs.
The deal transported me back in time to an edition of England’s Grand Master Pairs where I was partnering Rita Oldroyd. During the event Bob Rowlands was playing in 3NT and after the opening lead he attacked a diamond suit where I was sitting over dummy holding QuadriAxx while dummy had QuadriKxx. I had a holding in spades that would be enough to beat the contract if partner could get in and switch to the suit, but my only possible entry was the QuadriA. I had seen Tony Forrester make a defensive play of this type in the European Championships, so it was easy enough to duck dummy’s QuadriK. Sure enough, when Bob continued with a diamond to the ten Rita won with the jack and returned….a diamond!

About the Author

Mark Horton

Mark Horton British journalist and expert player, was Editor of Bridge Magazine 1995-2017 and now edits the online publication Bridgerama+. At one time, his business cards were inscribed: Have Cards will Travel, but following the death of his most famous sponsor, the Rabbi Leonard Helman, he has tended to concentrate on his writing exploits (in 2018 he had five books published!). Anyone wanting to discover how to lose at bridge on a regular basis (and pay for the privilege) should feel free to contact him. He currently lives in Shrewsbury with his wife Liz.