So many tournaments — so little space. Last week saw two of the very best London has to offer: Terry Hewett’s ninth and final Night of the Stars, a charity event that auctioned off 56 ‘Stars’ to club players for a night of fun, excitement and glamour — and all at the bridge table. The incomparable Terry has built NoS up from £4,000 in its first year to a whopping £65K — all the proceeds going to four worthy and grateful charities. My teammate Thor Erik Hoftaniska won convincingly, playing with his excellent sponsor John Cumming, whom the exacting TE, not known for gushing pleasantries, called ‘card perfect’. Crikey — I’m not normally the jealous sort…
Then, over the weekend, my friend Simon Gillis gave us the thrilling 70th anniversary ‘Platinum’ Lederer Memorial Trophy, which also attracted stars from all over Europe, and was won for the second year by the England Open Team. Here is a simple but instructive hand from that tournament:
West led the ♣6 to the Ace, and declarer won the return with his King, relieved that West followed. The King of Hearts revealed the 3–0 break — annoying as South was about to claim, throwing dummy’s Spade on his high Club and ruffing two Spades in dummy. Now he had to find one more trick. Should he finesse in Spades or guess which way to take the Diamond finesse? East should have one of the kings for his bid, but hardly both — or he would have opened the bidding. Declarer drew three rounds of trumps, ending in dummy, and called for the ♠Q. When East didn’t cover, South went up with the Ace and took the ruffing finesse in Diamonds for his twelfth trick. Simple but neat.