Every obituary written about Tony Priday, who died recently aged 92, said what a class act he was.
I would like to add my tuppence to that observation. When I first started playing, around 15 years ago, I played against Tony and his wife Vivian at a Young Chelsea duplicate. I was keen as mustard and read everything I could get my hands on — most of which I didn’t begin to understand. I had read about jettison plays and, idiotically, jettisoned what I thought was a blocking Ace in dummy, forfeiting my contract and looking a total muppet. ‘Ah I see what you were doing. Good idea — wrong moment,’ he said, ‘not many people would have thought of that.’ I bet they wouldn’t!
Tony came out of retirement in 2002 to partner Nick Sandqvist in the Camrose Trophy, which they won. Today’s hand is from the match against Ireland.
The change of trumps back to Diamonds was elegant, and the slam is cold if you can bring in the Spades for four tricks. Tony was South, and gave us another example of why he was such a class act.
West led the ♥9 and Tony started by calling for the 10 from dummy, covered by East and won in hand. After two rounds of trumps, he ducked a Club from both hands. East won and played back another Club to dummy’s Ace and Tony next played the ♥Jack, forcing out East’s King. With West now the only defender to guard Hearts, he was subject to a Show-Up Squeeze on the run of trumps — a Spade had to go and there was no longer a guess in that suit. Slam made.