I’ve just arrived in Orlando, where the 15th World Bridge Series is taking place. I’m here for the second event — the mixed teams — but I fear this week won’t be half as exciting for England fans as last. In the women’s teams, several England players triumphed magnificently: Sally Brock and Fiona Brown won gold, Nicola Smith and Yvonne Wiseman silver. Yvonne is on my mixed team this week and I’ve banned her from too many boozy celebrations.
Meanwhile, in the open teams (the Rosenblum), England won its first medal since the tournament began in 1978. Congratulations to Andrew Robson and Alexander Allfrey, and their young teammates, Tom Paske and Ed Jones. I often partner Tom (indeed, he’s my partner this week), and I’ve raved about his talent before. But this is a real game-changer for him and Ed — they’ve proved their mettle among the best. On this deal, they were playing against the legendary Italian pair Lorenzo Lauria and Alfredo Versace:
[3♦ showed both majors.] East (Lauria) led the ♣Q; Versace overtook and played ♣K and another. Ed ruffed with the ♦K, cashed the ♠A and ruffed a spade, drew two rounds of trumps and ruffed another spade. He now ruffed dummy’s last club and played his trumps; the last trump squeezed Lauria in the majors: he had to discard his ♠Q or bare his ♥QJ. Bravissimo!