The Hacketts are probably the best known bridge-playing family in the world. They live in Manchester but travel constantly — you’ll see at least one Hackett pop up at any tournament. There’s patriarch Paul, a lifelong bridge professional and part of the England Seniors Team who just can’t stop winning world and European championships. There are his sons, twins Justin and Jason, who were taught to play at 11 and went on to become the youngest pros in Europe. And there’s Barbara, married to Justin, a former world women’s champion. It was Barbara who reported this deal from the recent Yeh Bros Cup teams in Shanghai — her father-in-law and her husband both shone:
East led the ♠7 to West’s ♠10 and Paul Hackett won with the ♠Q. He then guessed diamonds correctly and cashed four rounds, West discarding a club and a heart, and East a heart. Reading the position perfectly, Paul went for an endplay. He cashed the ♥AK, then played a spade from dummy; when West followed with the ♠5 he inserted the ♠6. East was in, and couldn’t underlead a spade since Paul still had the ♠J. All he could do was cash his spades and lead a club away from his ♣K. Note that had West put up the ♣8, it wouldn’t have helped: North’s ♠6 would still have been higher than West’s remaining pip. However, had West played the ♠5 at trick 1, instead of the ♠10…!
At the other table, Paul’s teammate/son Justin was defending the same contract. He too led the ♠7. But when declarer cashed four diamonds, Justin boldly discarded the ♣3 instead of a heart. Declarer now cashed ♥AK and attempted to endplay East — but Justin was able to cash his spades and exit with a heart for one down.
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