The Hubert Phillips is one of the EBU’s quirkier knockout tournaments. Firstly every team must contain (and play) at least one male and one female, changing partners after each 10 board stanza. And secondly the scoring is by total aggregate, honours counting, meaning a big swing can easily wipe out all the other results in the match.
And so it was in our match against Chris(tine) Duckworth’s team last week. They won the first two sets and we went into the last one 1,300 points down and hoping for a big swing. We got it!
This was the bidding in the closed room. My teammate Nick Sandqvist was sitting South, having bid slam in Clubs. He must have been delighted at the sight of dummy, especially when West led the ♦10. He ruffed that, and led a trump to hand, but then things slowed down. If Hearts are 4-0, as the bidding suggests they might be, another round of trumps would be a disaster: West can knock out dummy’s two entries before the Hearts are established. Backing his judgment that East was likely 3-9 in the pointed suits, Nick made the fine play of advancing the ♥K before drawing the last trump. Now West could not stop the slam rolling in. +1190 including honours.
Meanwhile, in the open room my partner, sitting East, leapt to 6♦ in a much shorter auction, after I had overcalled 1♠ and North jumped to 4♥.This received the opening lead from South of the ♥King, and scored a miraculous 1370 + honours! When the dust settled we had won 2,660 points on one hand — and are through to the next round!
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