Couples that play together stay together is not a mantra you hear too often in the bridge world. Indeed most couples who play together come closer to murder than to renewing their vows. The shaking head of the male. The withering comments. The relentless hand-hogging. Even demure little me has thought about whether a life sentence would be preferable to another board. But over the past few years an interesting phenomenon has occurred. Roy Welland and Sabine Auken got together, and formed a formidable partnership at the table too. They are the current European Open champions, play on Germany’s national team and have won countless major tournaments. Clearly, ‘What do you bid on this hand?’ is their preferred pillow talk.
Now we have our own version. When Barry (Myers) met Sally (Brock) it was the start of a sensational partnership in every sense. Sally, of course, is a multiple world champion and one of the best women players in the world, and Barry is a barrister who gave up top-level bridge for 20 years — not that you’d notice. At Young Chelsea’s Friday Night IMPs game, they produced this stunning defence to 3♣ doubled.
Sally, sitting West, passed the double for lack of a viable alternative, and led the ♠Jack which Barry overtook with the Queen. He cashed the ♠Ace and had the ♠King in his hand when suddenly he had second thoughts. After a minute or two he found the masterful shift of a trump. Declarer could not afford to rise with a high honour in hand, or he would have two trump losers, so he let it run to Sally’s Queen. Now came the third Spade to the Ace, and a fourth Spade promoted Sally’s nine into the setting trick. As Barry himself said at the time — what a defender!
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