The cheating scandal rages on. The latest to be accused is the world’s number one-ranked pair, Fulvio Fantoni and Claudio Nunes, who play for the mighty Monaco team. Frankly, it’s too depressing to go into and instead I am going to tell you about a local hero called Alan Woo, who has been playing bridge for longer than most of the cheats have been alive. Alan is a seriously class player who mostly partners his wife Olivia at Young Chelsea duplicates and occasionally comes up with a solution that would not occur to most of us — and, need I add, by fair means, not foul.
Look at the stunning defence he produced on this hand.
Alan was East and opened 1♥. After West’s pre-emptive raise, North had an impossible bidding problem and probably wished he had opened.
Had he tried 4♣, he might even have picked up a slam bonus, but he chose 4♦ and the partnership came to rest in 4♠.
West led a Heart to the Ace, and Alan shifted to his singleton Club. Declarer won in hand and needed to get trumps out as soon as possible, so he played Ace and another Spade.
Without a flicker, Alan played the ten of Spades under the Ace. This meant that West won the second round of trumps with the nine, gave Alan his Club ruff, and the contract went one down.
South understood what had happened and after a short silence to take it in, he congratulated Alan on this small but incredible play.
In the right hands, bridge is still a beautiful game. Thanks, Alan. You are wonderful.