The magnificent English Ladies have won another gold medal at the Europeans in Budapest. They have won medals in the past six Euro and world championships making them the most successful team we have ever had and one of the best of all time. They were lying third with one day to go. The team that keeps on giving put on a dazzling performance, won its last four matches convincingly and knocked Poland off the top spot. I can’t overstate the Ladies’ achievement: CONGRATULATIONS, WELL PLAYED, BRILLIANT!
The Open and Senior teams did not produce such a sensational result — sadly, neither qualified for the Bermuda Bowl, despite some thrilling matches. France won gold in the Open section. They were leading for most of the tournament and never looked in danger. England’s lacklustre footballers could take a lesson from the French wunderkind Thomas Bessis. Look how smoothly he moved the ball from one foot to the other on today’s hand:
West led the ♦ Queen. Declarer only has three losers, two Clubs and the Ace of Spades, but the bidding and lead almost guarantee that West is 5–5 in the red suits, and East will be able to over-ruff dummy. What to do? Bessis won the lead in dummy, cashed the Ace of Hearts and played another Diamond to his Ace. He then played a third Diamond and discarded a Club from dummy, as East threw a Heart. West shifted to a trump, and East played Ace and another. Thomas won in hand, played his last Diamond and threw dummy’s last Club. Whatever West did, Declarer could now ruff his two Club losers in dummy and make his game. Beautiful!
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