Jonathan Harris is a man of principle. He and his wife Jenny had each entered a team for the Venice International Festival of Bridge earlier this month. Five days of Pairs and Teams in a wonderful setting: beats working. Then came the news that Fulvio Fantoni, who had been found guilty of cheating by the EBL’s Disciplinary Commission in August 2016, was playing. He and his partner Claudio Nunes were banned from playing together for life and individually in any EBL event for five years. The ACBL banned them for life. They appealed to the CAS (Court of Arbitration for Sport — not a bridge player among them) who stated that the EBL’s decision was invalid and they could play, if invited. Players were queuing up to say they would withdraw from any tourney in which a cheat was allowed to play, but Teams Harris are the first to do so.
Back to the beauty of the game. Here is Danish superstar Dennis Bilde shining in the brilliantly organised Acol Invitational Pairs:
West started with the ♣8 to Dennis’s Ace. What would you have done at trick two? At most tables, East returned the ♠Q. Dummy won and a trump was led to the King and West’s Ace. West cashed the ♠King as partner could have Qx or singleton Queen, but unfortunately this sets up dummy’s ♠10 for a discard — 10 tricks. Dennis took virtually no time to return the Jack of Spades! When West won the Ace of trumps, he knew that declarer couldn’t have the ♠Q, as he would have covered the Jack, so returned a small Spade to the Queen! Having won the battle, Dennis wasn’t going to lose the war; he found the Heart switch that killed the impending double-squeeze, and only nine tricks were made. All the money.