The winter ‘season’ of terrific bridge competitions came to a close last weekend with the Lederer Trophy held at the RAC Club in London. Generously sponsored by Simon Gillis and faultlessly organised by Ian Payn and Kath Stynes, it really is a pleasure for the ten teams lucky enough to be invited to play in it.
It was a star-studded affair, the room filled with world champions from different countries. But the team that gets my vote for awesomeness is the eventual winners — the (reconstructed) Allfrey Team. Alex A. plays with the legendary Andrew Robson and their teammates are Tom Paske and Ed Jones, both in their twenties and it’s Tom’s first Lederer.
It was this new team that got to the semi-final of the World Championships last year in Orlando and it was this new young pair who won the Lederer Butler (overall personal score record) and the trophy. But it was not them who played today’s hand. It was me!
West’s 2♥ overcall was explained as a good opening hand with 6 hearts. North’s double showed 8+ points and when it came back to me the auction ended in 2NT. West led the ♥Q which I ducked and won the continuation. I played a club towards dummy, West took his Ace and played a third heart to my King, East discarding ♠10. I cashed my clubs, East pitching another spade on the fourth round and West letting go of ♦Q. Now I could work out West’s distribution: 6 hearts, 3 clubs and almost definitely 2/2 in spades and diamonds.
I went for my only chance and banged down Ace King of spades… ‘Cashing out for one off?’ said my partner with a smirk. At the other table the Norwegian world champ went 2 off in 3NT. Just saying.