Little did I know, when I was railing at how Britain comes to a standstill at the first flurry of the white stuff, how marvellously it would turn out for my team. The second Camrose (home countries championship) weekend was cancelled and a substitute announced. Unfortunately, the winners of the Premier League last year (Allfrey) couldn’t make the date chosen and the runners-up (Hinden) had already played the first weekend, which meant that my team, coming third, was invited to represent England in Dublin next month. Fan-blooming-tastic. My first England cap. But back to tournaments played. Here is the most talked-about hand in Simon Gillis’s fabulous Lederer Trophy. This year teams from Israel, Iceland and Ireland joined pairs from Norway, Sweden and Denmark to make a Class A tournament. Israel were the eventual winners but today’s slam was played by Espen Lindqvist for the Gillis team. He was the only declarer in the room to make it:
West led ♣A and Declarer took stock: he can cope with either Diamonds or Spades breaking badly — but not both and he placed West with ♥K for his double. He ruffed the club and played a Spade to his Ace, a Diamond to Dummy’s Queen and ruffed a small Spade in hand. Now Espen played ♦A and ♦K, the 4–1 break meaning he needs Spades 3–3. He played a small heart to Dummy’s Queen, played ♠K pitching a Club and another Spade (which East has to ruff in case South had 4 clubs), pitched his last Club, ruffed the Club continuation, entered Dummy and cashed the good spades. Slam made.