The European Team Championships drew to a close last week and the most successful country overall was …England! The doughty Seniors took Gold, the Women took Silver and the Open Team took Bronze. I hardly went out in the ten days of the tournament, so glued was I to BBO and the fortunes of everyone I knew. Well done all who qualified for the Bermuda Bowl next year but especially well done to the three English teams who did us proud.
Today’s hand is an example of how things can go wrong at the highest level — but you have to keep on playing. Amazingly, both rooms played the unlikely 4♥, but only Boye Brogeland, playing for Norway against Denmark, got home:
West kicked off with ♣10 which Boye won and played a diamond towards dummy’s Jack.
East won and returned ♥8 to North’s King. Now Boye played ♦King, drawing the Ace, which he ruffed in hand. He continued with ♥Ace and ♥Jack, pinning East’s 10. West won and put him back in hand with another Heart. Trumps were now drawn and Declarer was on a wing and a prayer. He cashed his high clubs, the prayer answered when they were 3/3, and now he played a Spade towards Dummy’s 10 and East was endplayed, having to play a Spade away from his King Queen. Note that this was exactly the layout Boye needed to make his contract, but hey, sometimes the impossible happens. You have to take your chances. Also note that the only lead to defeat the contract was a trump, because declarer doesn’t have enough entries to eliminate the Diamonds before throwing East in.
Funny old game. 5♦ is laydown, but neither table considered it!