Janet de Botton

Bridge | 06 May 2023

‘The more I practise the luckier I get.’ This is the mantra used against those of us who are dumbfounded by the awfulness of picking up endless Yarboroughs at rubber bridge and playing against the only pair in the room to bid a slam in duplicate matches. But what about the other end of the spectrum? This hand was shown to me by Nick Sandqvist and must be a contender for the luckiest hand ever played. It occurred in the last round of the Easter Guardian team’s event, but he was adamant that it made no difference to the end result. They had won the tournament already! What a waste!

N/S had the kind of system accident that happens even in practised partnerships. There was some disagreement as to whether 4♣ was forcing, whether 4◆ in that case was Blackwood, and where they were going to have dinner.

West protected his holdings by leading a trump. South grabbed East’s King with the Ace and played a Spade – West took and continued another trump. That was it; declarer won in dummy and finessed in Diamonds. Then he cashed the ◆A and ran all his trumps and, in order to guard the Spades, West had to come down to a singleton Heart. A Spade to the Jack and the King of Spades now squeezed East in the red suits for probably the most ridiculous 920 ever witnessed.

All South needed was ♣K right, ♠A right, ♠Q right and the length with West, ◆K right, no Heart lead and no switch to Hearts or Spades to break up the compound squeeze.

Was Nick lucky or had he been practising?

Already a subscriber? Log in

Keep reading with a free trial

Subscribe and get your first month of online and app access for free. After that it’s just £1 a week.

There’s no commitment, you can cancel any time.


Unlock more articles



Don't miss out

Join the conversation with other Spectator readers. Subscribe to leave a comment.

Already a subscriber? Log in