Summer finally appeared like magic on Saturday, 16 July. Did I fire up the barbie? Did I relax with a Pimm’s soaking up a few rays? Did I go for a gentle walk? Did I heck. I went to play the London Congress Swiss Pairs tournament and found myself, along with 160 other whey-faced bridge moles, descending into the subterranean murkiness of Central Hall in Westminster. It was a bit of a last hurrah for me as August is ‘holiday time’ and I can only get my kicks from watching others battling it out on BBO. We played seven 7-board matches, and when the dust had settled the trophy went to Guernsey-based fund manager Alistair Kent and Andrew ‘Tosh’ Macintosh.
This hand, played by Tosh, was much discussed — featuring as it does the old Trump coup.
West kicked off with the ♦Q, allowed to hold. The next Diamond was won in dummy, and a Diamond ruffed in hand.
A Heart to the Jack went well, and declarer cleverly asked for the ♣8 from dummy. To save the day, East would have had to pump up with the ♣Queen and return a trump, but who would think of that? West won his ♣King and continued another Diamond.
For the E/W bidding to make any sense, West should have 12 points and East 5, meaning K,J of Spades were behind declarer, but Tosh could deal with that. Two high Hearts were followed by the Ace of clubs and a club ruff. With only A,Q of trumps and the fourth Heart in hand, declarer led his Heart and West was cooked — he could ruff in with the Jack but had to lead into South’s ten ace.