Janet De-Botton

Bridge | 18 February 2016

Bridge | 18 February 2016
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Pierre Zimmermann, Monaco’s uber-sponsor, has put another unmissable, thrilling tournament in the calendar. The first European Winter Games gave those who entered the kind of event we no longer get with the World or European Championships. One week of bridge, 60 boards a day, with a BAM (board a match) side event that was terrific. The final of the Zimmermann Cup was between Zimmermann and Andrew (Bertie) Black’s mainly British team, who beat all the top teams easily, played like gods and were narrowly defeated in the final to take the silver medal.

Back home, no sooner had we landed at Heathrow than two of my team whizzed up to Birmingham to play the final of the Tollemache Cup — the inter-counties championships. Here is Kieran Dyke for London, contributing to their convincing win:

West led his singleton Heart to the King and Ace, Kieran following with the 8. If East gives his partner a Heart ruff, South cannot avoid two further losers, but East could not be certain that partner only had one Heart, and even if he did, it looks like the defence have a second Heart trick coming with the Jack. East preferred to shift to his singleton Club, confirming the 8-1 break in that suit. This gave declarer a chance to make his contract, one that he wouldn’t let slip. He drew three rounds of trump and exited with a Club to West who played a Diamond to declarer’s Queen. Kieran couldn’t be sure who had the King but he didn’t care. Ace and another Diamond would put one of the defenders on lead; if it was West, a ruff and sluff was forthcoming, while if it was East, he would have to lead a Heart into dummy’s tenace. Well done, London!