What a week it’s been. On Thursday night the incomparable Terry Hewett held her annual charity bonanza Night of the Stars in which 52 bridge luminaries (well, 51 and me) were auctioned to non-professionals, raising a record £50,000 for four charities. I played with the heavenly Bernard Themis, who should have learned his lesson as he invested in me two years ago! Thank you, Terry. Nobody does it better.
Then last weekend ten teams were invited to play in the Lederer Memorial Cup held in the fabulous RAC club, which can only be described as a real privilege. My friend Simon Gillis is the new sponsor and provided a tournament to remember. We were beaten in the last match by the outstanding English Open Team (no disgrace to come second behind them) with the added bonus of members of my team winning Best Defended Hand (Nick Sandqvist) and Best Played Hand (Artur Malinowski). Here is Malinowski’s winning declarer play — bear in mind that the scoring is IMPs and Point a Board — overtricks are vital
West led ♦6 to dummy’s Ace. Artur took the heart finesse and cashed the ♥Ace. He has 11 tricks but needs to work for his contract. He clearly can’t check if hearts break as he is cold off if they don’t, so he played a diamond to the King and cashed the Ace and King of Clubs. Next came the ♦Queen to see if the Jack dropped, the bad break showing up, and East safely pitching a spade. Finally the wizard cashed ♣Queen, all following, and on the last Club East was squeezed — he can’t keep both ♥King and four spades. Thirteen tricks even if hearts had split four–two.
Subscribe to The Spectator today for a quality of argument not found in any other publication. Get more Spectator for less – just £12 for 12 issues.