Janet De-Botton

Bridge | 24 July 2014

Bridge | 24 July 2014
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Richard Selway was one of the first friends I made in the bridge world. Long-standing ‘host’ at TGR’s, he was hilariously funny, irreverent, kind, a sensational natural player, and totally bonkers. I loved him. Sadly he died last week, on his own terms, having a fag in the care home where he had been looked after for the past year. His favourite story against himself was the time he rectified the count by ducking the first trick — in 7NT!

Here is a hand he played many years ago, which shows Richard ‘knowing his customers’.

Richard was South, of course, and his little ploy in the auction not only serves to increase the chances of playing 5 doubled, but also ensures that partner leads a Club if the opponents bid on.

West’s lead of the ♣Ace was perhaps ill-considered, but you can see where he’s coming from. Richard ruffed and tabled the King of Hearts, covered and ruffed. The ♣King was cashed and another Club ruffed in hand. The Queen won the next trick, a Heart was ruffed in dummy, and another Club ruff and Heart ruff went well.

‘How many tricks have I lost,’ he’d say, knowing perfectly well that he hadn’t lost any.

With eight tricks in front of him, and A10 of trumps facing KJ, three more were needed. He exited with a spade. The defence won and shifted to a trump.

Having won a cheap trick with the Jack, a high cross-ruff produced the missing two tricks.

Bye, darlin’. Miss you.