Bridge players are a generous bunch — both with their expertise and their time. There are many charity events to which they contribute willingly, but the one that has become the most successful is Terry Hewett’s Night of the Stars. This year it is being held on 27 February at the Royal Hospital for Neuro-disability and the indomitable Terry has auctioned 53 ‘stars’ to play with their sponsors, the proceeds going to four different charities.
Last year Italian superstar Fulvio Fantoni came over — at his own expense— and was snapped up by my friend Jonathan Harris.
How do great players always seem to put the defence to a guess — playing the hand to conceal the vital information they will need to defeat the contract? If Fantoni had hoped for a bit more in dummy he certainly didn’t let it show. West made the best lead of a high Diamond to the Jack and Ace. I would have drawn trumps and hoped to pick up the Clubs somehow, but Fantoni had another idea: he played a Heart to dummy and ruffed a Heart in hand, re-entered dummy twice in trumps to ruff two more hearts, and exited with the losing Diamond to East.
East took stock. He knew both the red suits were eliminated, but did declarer have 6–4 or 7–3 in the black suits? If it was 6–4, he should give a ruff and sluff, but if it was 7–3 he had to play Clubs and hope that partner had Q9x of Clubs. The latter seemed slightly more likely, judging from the auction, and East eventually played a Club, picking up the suit for a deserving declarer.
You’re not the top ranked player in the world for nothing…