Congratulations to the Welsh women’s team, who staged one of the most spectacular comebacks I’ve ever seen at last weekend’s Lady Milne (the women’s home internationals). They were languishing in bottom place on Sunday morning, but managed to claw all the way to the top by the end of the day. You can imagine the celebrations: the last time Wales won was 27 years ago. Which just goes to show the importance of keeping your nerve. During the recent Yeh Bros Cup in Beijing, another team kept its nerve under even greater pressure. There are very few bridge events offering big cash prizes, but Yeh Bros is an exception: the winners collect $150,000. In the final, the China Open team was neck and neck with the Redbulls (made up of players from China and the Netherlands). And then came this decisive deal:
East, Kang Meng, led the ♥Q. Declarer, Lu Yiping, won and took a spade finesse. Kang won and switched to a club. Lu won the second club, drew trumps, and now had to decide how to play diamonds. Since East had shown up with just two trumps, he naturally played West for short diamonds. He crossed to dummy and played a diamond to West’s ♦J and his ♦Q. Kang ducked smoothly. Had he taken the trick, Lu would surely have got diamonds right: West’s ♦J couldn’t be a singleton as he would have tried for a diamond ruff when in with the ♣A at trick 3. So, to make the contract, he would have to place West with an original holding of ♦J10. Lu now played the ♦5, Kang ducked again, and — playing West for ♦AJ — Lu inserted dummy’s ♦9. West won and East ♦A was the setting trick. $150,000: not a bad price for two ducks.
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