Janet de Botton

Bridge | 1 July 2023

Rubber bridge may be poorly but it’s not flatlining yet. TGR’s BC in Paddington provides a game or two every afternoon (and some evenings) and attracts visitors from all over the world who want to experience the unique thrill of playing and defending with and against world-class opposition. It was the battle of the Titans recently. Thor Erik Hoftaniska and Gunnar Hallberg were playing against each other and if you were lucky enough to play with them or kibbitz you would have been as riveted as I was.

West led ♣️10 and South won in dummy with the Jack. Hoffa played three rounds of trump, West discarding the ♥️9 on the third round. To increase the pressure on West South cashed a 4th trump, West throwing a low diamond and cleverly hanging on to all his clubs. Time to check the Clubs and the ♣️A clarified the bad news. It was now decision time: should Declarer play East or West for the ♥️Ace or should he go for the endplay? He decided to play West for it so he played Ace and King of Diamonds, discarding a heart in hand. West showed out on the second round and discarded the ♥️Jack. South now ruffed a Diamond in hand with his last trump and West was doomed. If he discards a Club Declarer has two Club tricks and if he discards the ♥️Q he will be thrown in with his ♥️A and will have to lead into the Q/8 Club tenace. West tried his best by discarding the ♥️A but that established the ♥️K for Declarer’s 12th trick.

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