Susanna Gross

Bridge | 19 March 2022

Bridge | 19 March 2022
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I still haven’t got over the novelty of sitting down at home, opening my laptop, and – just like fantasy football – logging on to play against some of the biggest names in the bridge world, including people I’ve been in awe of for years. The sense of privilege will never wear off, which is why I’m so glad that the online invitational tournaments are still going strong, and that I’m lucky enough to participate.

When I’m not playing, watching is just as rewarding. If ever you needed proof that great minds think alike, you only need to see how many of the players tackle the same hands in the same way. On the following deal, from one of the Alt tournaments, no fewer than seven declarers made 4♠ by squeezing West in the red suits – including Bas Driver, Ola Rimstedt, David Gold, and also my own occasional partner on Team Harris, Steve Root:

At most tables, the bidding was as above, or else East passed initially and came in with 2♣ before NS reached 4♠. The defence can prevail by cashing two clubs and two diamonds, but North either received three rounds of clubs (the third ruffed high), or two rounds followed by a heart switch, won with dummy’s ♥K. It made no difference – they all reached this same endgame: North ♠5 ♥A8 ◆J3; South ♥Q43 ◆K10; West ♥J109 ◆AQ. Testing hearts to see if they break 3-3, or taking a diamond finesse, would spell disaster (besides it was unlikely East held a diamond honour as well as ♣AKQ). So our declarers played their last trump – and bared dummy’s ◆K! West was squeezed in the red suits: the best he could do was discard the ◆Q. Now a diamond established the ◆J as the tenth trick.