The last tournament of the year is the hugely popular one-day Swiss Teams in the EBU’s Year End Congress in London. I normally play all four days (two pairs events preceding the teams) but this year I limply decided to take a longer Christmas break and was raring to go for the Teams. The first person I bumped into was my co-columnist Susanna, playing with the great Sally Brock, Frank To and Barry Myers. Seven matches were played in total and Susanna’s team won the first six to find themselves lying third with one match to go. The top five teams were very close going into the last match but Susanna’s team played a blinder to take the cup. Brilliantly done, guys.
One thing is certain: the more chances you give your opponents to go wrong, the more often they will oblige. On the following hand, Barry made a seemingly very simple play, and reaped his reward when he caught West napping:
West led a normal-looking Queen of Clubs, and you can see that declarer has a nasty problem in Hearts. How would you proceed?
Barry thought there could be no harm in checking if the opponents were awake, so he won the first Club and played a Spade to the Ace. Next came a Diamond to the Ace and a Diamond ruff in dummy. A trump to hand eliminated those, and he then cashed the ♦K, throwing a Club from dummy, and exited with a Club.
West took the Jack but found himself pseudo endplayed: having not followed the small cards in the minors carefully enough, he couldn’t work out which minor to exit, and, loath to give a ruff and sluff, he played a heart. Game over!