Our Golden Oldies have brought home the Gold! Many congratulations to the England players who have won the Seniors Teams European Championships in Croatia. I’m particularly pleased for my friend Simon Cochemé, their non-playing captain. Simon is relatively new to captaincy, but has long been one of the funniest bridge journalists around. I’ve hugely enjoyed his daily blogs. The night before their victory, he wrote: ‘I am pleased to report that the team retired to bed early. Or so I hope. Maybe I should have resorted to the tactics employed by the NPC of the famous Italian Blue Team; not only did he see the players to their rooms, he then made them give him their trousers so that they couldn’t sneak out to a nightclub.’ And after the awards ceremony, he blogged: ‘We sang “God save the Queen” lustily, and in a variety of keys, making it the only time the team were not in harmony. The organisers sprang a surprise by playing a second verse, but we took it in our stride.’
Here’s some harmonious defence from team members Paul Hackett and David Mossop:
Hackett (W) led ♣K and another club to Mossop’s ♣A. Declarer ruffed, then led the ♦5 to the two, nine and jack. Declarer won the heart shift with the ace and led a trump to West’s ♠Q and dummy’s ♠K. In addition to six trumps and three hearts, he needed a diamond ruff. He played the ♦3 from dummy and Mossop contributed the ♦7! Hackett was able to win with the ♦10 and deliver a heart ruff for one down.