The Hubert Phillips is a knockout tournament unlike any other. First it is mixed — there has to be at least one male and one female playing at all times. Second, the scoring is total points (honours count). And lastly everyone plays a set with each of his/her teammates. Rubber bridge, in effect. This year’s final was between Susanna’s team (captained by Paula Leslie) and Brian Senior’s. Brian’s squad — four internationals — were probably favourites, and not just because they knocked us out! Susanna was playing with lovely Graham Orsmond when they bid and made slam on this hand. It doesn’t require any fancy squeezes or coups but it does need care and thought to guarantee bringing it home safely. Susanna did just that:
North’s 2NT was Jacoby (GF with at least 4 spades) and South’s 3♣ showed shortage — music to Graham’s ears. He bid RKC Blackwood and they were off to the races. West led the ♦10 which went to East’s Ace who returned another diamond to dummy. Here is where a little thought was required. After drawing trump, Susanna needed to find the ♥Q; it looks like a guess, but it isn’t if you gather enough information. She cashed ♣A and ruffed a club, ruffed a diamond in dummy and ruffed another club. Now, when she ruffed the last diamond and East’s Jack dropped, she knew for sure where the ♥Q was. East had passed first in hand and had shown up with 11 points — surely he would have opened with an extra Queen? No lazy guess required. Congrats to team Leslie — the new holders of the Hubert Phillips trophy.