I’ve just come back from ten days in Orlando, but don’t ask me what it’s like — I haven’t a clue: I never made it out of the World Center Marriott, where the Bridge World Series was taking place. Such is the bridge life: you travel the world, and see none of it.
I played in the Mixed Teams through a fog of jet lag (that’s my excuse, anyway); we eventually got knocked in the Round of 64. In the Mixed Pairs, my partner Tom Paske and I failed to qualify for the A-final, but there was still a lifeline: the top three pairs (out of 112) in the B-final got a pass back to the A. We finished 4th — 0.07% behind 3rd. Ah well, I shouldn’t complain — we had bad luck, but good luck too. Here, for instance:
Sitting South, I bid too much. My 2♣ was game-forcing. When Tom cue-bid diamonds, I propelled us to slam. East doubled, and Tom, realising a diamond ruff was coming, cleverly removed to 6NT.
West led ♦A and a second diamond, East discarding a heart. I cashed my four top spades and three hearts, ending in dummy. East, feeling the squeeze, discarded two clubs. I now knew West’s shape: 0-5-7-1. In the four-card ending, I held ♣AQ52 opposite ♠6 ♣J83. East held ♠10 ♣1097. There was no point finessing the ♣Q — even if East held the ♣K, I’d still lose a club and a spade. So I crossed my fingers and played a club to the ♣A — bingo! When West’s singleton ♣K fell, the rest were mine.