Some bridge tournaments take everything you’ve got and then some. The emotional output is as extreme as the most demanding, turbulent relationship and you stagger home needing urgent hospital care. Then there are some that are great bridge but not life or death. And then there is Biarritz. A cracking holiday with a bit of bridge attached.
The most fun is the teams event which is split into two sections — Main and Handicap — which gives everyone a chance of success. Extra points are given to non-professional players and this year the Handicap was won by my friend Jonathan Harris’s team. Jonathan played with Steve Capal and his wife Jenny played with Andrew Sobell.
East’s first double was unsound — why not just take the money? — and Jonathan made the great decision to pull to 4NT. The second double was pure fury!
West led the ◆8, won in dummy with the King. Two rounds of spades dislodged the Ace and East returned a diamond. Steve cashed two more diamonds, throwing a club and a heart from dummy and played the last spade. With hearts likely to be 5-0 (West hadn’t led one), East’s shape was becoming clear, and when he also followed to Ace and King of clubs, it was a near certainty.
Playing for East’s last five cards to be hearts Steve led a small heart from dummy and it was game over: East won the Jack, and continued with the King, but declarer won the ace, and a final heart towards hand meant that the ♥10 became South’s tenth trick.
A terrific result for Team Harris. Well done.