The Gold Cup Finals were played in London this year and proved to be very exciting but ultimately unsuccessful for my team. We played David Mossop’s squad on Friday in the quarter-finals and had a rather magical match where everything went our way and we won easily. Next day we played Simon Gillis’s band of international superstars and we certainly had our chances — but the gold dust had evaporated.
Norwegian World Champion Boye Brogeland, the hero who exposed all the cheats last year, and his equally brilliant partner Espen Lindqvist, played for Simon. One of the basic building blocks in bridge is to take tricks, but sometimes it’s hard to recognise when a trick is a trick. Boye recognised it all right on this deal from the semifinal:
Boye was in the East seat, defending 3NT after South had used the Lebensohl convention to show a weak hand. West led the ♠10.
Due to the blockage in Diamonds, declarer has to give the defence a trick in the suit in order to enjoy them, even if they break 2–2. The way home, on this occasion, is to duck the Spade lead in both hands, cutting communication between the defenders, and lose a Diamond trick to East.
The actual declarer had another idea, however; he put up dummy’s King and casually asked for the ♦9 from dummy, hoping to be able to run it to West. This would have worked against most defenders, but Boye is not most defenders — he took a look at the situation, and majestically stepped in with the ♦Q!!
Declarer was now doomed; he was forced to let it hold, and five Spade tricks quickly followed. Many congratulations to Team Gillis, who went on to win Sunday’s final.
Subscribe to The Spectator today for a quality of argument not found in any other publication. Get more Spectator for less – just £12 for 12 issues.