Bridge players never get bored of each other’s company for one simple reason: interesting hands are like juicy bits of gossip, and there is an endless supply to discuss and mull over. The things other people do! The things we ourselves have done!
Here’s an extraordinary deal that has had everyone chattering from Warsaw to London and back again. It occurred during the final of the Polish Teams Championships, when the two top teams of Martens and Vitas were slugging it out. At the first table, the famous Krzysztof Martens was North, his partner Dominik Filipowicz was South:
North opened a ‘gambling 3NT’, showing a long solid minor and no side stopper. South knew North’s suit had to be clubs, so he punted 7♣. Yes, the ♦A was missing, but how would West know that a diamond was the killing lead? When West doubled, however, it was clear he held the ♦A, so South shifted the pressure to East by bidding 7NT. Now how would East know what to lead? After some thought, East chose the ♠K… +2220 to the Martens team.
Now look what happened at the other table. North also opened 3NT and East, Rafal Jagniewski, decided to skew the proceedings by overcalling 4♥! South, Jerzy Skrzypczak, doubled. This was passed back to East who now bid 4♠. South decided to bid 6NT, which West now doubled. East knew that declarer’s suit was clubs and that West’s double (a ‘Lightener double’) was asking him to lead one of the red suits …but which one? Finally, he chose — oops — the ♥4. But the story doesn’t end there. Declarer, believing that East held five hearts, decided to make a doubled overtrick — and finessed the ♥9! West won with the ♥10 and cashed his ♦A …well, I never!
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