Janet de Botton

Bridge | 2 February 2017

Not surprisingly, Reykjavik has become a tourist destination again. Delicious restaurants, all those geysers and, if you’re lucky, the Northern Lights come out to play. But for bridge players there is another incentive to get out your warmest parka — possibly my favourite bridge tournament of the year held on the last weekend of January. Sponsored by Icelandair, it kicks off with two days of pairs and continues with another two days of teams. It always goes by so quickly that the Brits on the murderously early flight home on Monday morning all commiserate with each other that it’s a whole year till the next one.

This year Swedish world champion Peter Bertheau joined my team, and jolly welcome he was — topping the Butler with Mr Hoftaniska and helping us secure second place. Team Denmark, four young internationals, won.

Here is Peter executing a neat little end position on this hand:

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West led his singleton Diamond which Peter won with the Ace and drew trump in three rounds. At trick four he gave East a Diamond and ruffed the next one. Needing to find out East’s shape, Declarer played off King and Ace of Clubs, and when East showed out on the second round he was marked with a 2-3-7-1 hand. Now Peter played a Spade to dummy’s King and awaited East’s card: if he keeps the ♠Q, he will win the next round and have to give declarer a ruff and discard — so he unblocked his Queen.

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