Why do men always yell at the television or keep up a running commentary while watching sport? My husband does it whenever the rugby is on. After I told him to pipe down the other day, he quite reasonably pointed out that I do it myself when I’m following bridge online — he has to put up with constant mutterings of ‘Hmmm, yes …What? No!’
Watching bridge really is as thrilling as watching any sport — especially if you know the players and have a team to support. I was glued to my computer during the recent Lederer Trophy, the invitation tournament held each year in London. My loyalties were divided; I was rooting for two of the teams — the de Botton Team (headed by my friend Janet) and the England Open (containing my friend David Gold). They were neck and neck throughout, steamrolling their way past other stars of bridge like Zia Mahmood, Sabine Auken, Dennis Bilde and Boye Brogeland. In the end, the De Botton team were narrowly pipped by the England Open. This deal, played between the England Open and the England Women teams, helped the Open notch up some vital points. Tony Forrester was West, partnering Andrew Robson.
Robson’s 2♦ was a ‘Michael’s cue bid’, showing both majors. South’s 4♠ showed diamonds and a spade void. While every other West bid some number of spades, Forrester found a bid that only Forrester could find: 5♥! South had a difficult decision now: should she bid 6♦, or double, or even pass (which would have been the winning action, as 6♦ goes off on a heart ruff)? She doubled, and when Forrester bid 5♠, North doubled too. She led the ♦K and the contract made with ease — while in the other room, the England Women bid up to 6♠ doubled, down one.
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