Janet de Botton

Bridge | 03 June 2023

Three enormous cheers for Thomas Charlsen, Norwegian International and great friend and teammate, for setting up and working day and night to organise the World Bridge Tour ‘hybrid’ invitational, which last week saw the first live tournament held in Sopot, Poland’s Brighton-on-sea. Twelve teams competed at the wonderful Grand Hotel where we stayed and played.

 Waseem Naqvi and Lee Rosenthal, both living in London, formed a team with a strong Polish pair, previously unknown to them, and they did very well indeed. Today’s hand shows their most spectacular result (See diagram).

Lee and Waseem are not a regular partnership but they both have the same ethos and don’t mind an overbid – or two! Was (South) opened a quiet diamond and West’s 2NT showed hearts and clubs. Lee’s 3♥ promised spades which Was supported. 4♣ and 4♥ were cue bids and 6♠ said I think we’ve gone far enough, pard. The K♥ was led, which Waseem won in hand and guessed trumps correctly in view of the 2NT overcall. West continued with a third heart ruffed in hand and an amazing position arose: declarer played the Q♣ from hand which was covered by the king and won in dummy. Now he cashed all his winners, squeezing East who held J/10♣ and four diamonds, chalking up 12 tricks and 13 IMPs for his extremely happy team. No one else in the room bid slam and only one made 12 tricks – but he was in game. So – who do you think gave the game (in this case slam) away with their reckless overbidding? In my view, it was West with his shape-defining 2NT, virtually giving South a blueprint of how to play the hand. Good job, Was.

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