Janet De-Botton

Bridge | 4 January 2018

Bridge | 4 January 2018
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Well, I had a very merry Christmas thank you — and I hope you did too — but as usual I have torn myself away from the festivities, rushing back to play the EBU’s Year End teams’ tournament. I don’t know why I enjoy this tournament so much — it’s certainly not the very unglam venue. Perhaps it’s because it’s fun and buzzing and everyone seems in a good mood to have got through another Christmas intact. It’s the perfect way to ease yourself into the New Year.

My (bridge) resolution is the same as it was last year — take longer before playing to trick one.

In America, every second player you encounter tells you they always take a couple of minutes to work out a plan when dummy goes down. Why, oh why can’t I? Although frankly I doubt I would find the winning solution to this hand if I took a week:

In the first room Declarer, let’s call her Janet, won the ♠King in hand, drew trump, cashed the Ace and played a Club towards dummy’s King. West was awake and split his honours, so the ♣Jack was covered by dummy’s King and won by East. Goodnight contract. ‘Could I have done better?’ poor Janet bleated to much eye-rolling from her beloved team. Have you spotted it? The way home is to sacrifice. You win the Spade lead with the Ace (the overcall alerting you to the fact that East can’t have more than one) but now play only three rounds of trumps. Next you unblock the Ace and exit with the 2! East is well and truly endplayed and has to lead a Club from the Ace or a Diamond into dummy’s tenace.

I wish you all a very happy, peaceful and successful 2018!