Janet de Botton

Bridge | 7 May 2022

Bridge | 7 May 2022
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My teammate Thor Erik Hoftaniska is having a bit of a moment. He won last year’s (online) Gold Cup (on my team), hoovered up the Champion’s Cup playing for Norway in Slovakia, won the main pairs event in the Easter Guardian, and has just taken the gold medal for winning the Norwegian Premier League. Not bad for six months’ work.

Last week we played a rescheduled Super League match against Martin Lerner’s team. Waiting to score up, T E’s partner Tom Townsend said: ‘Hoffa made a great play. He ducked the ♠Q.’ Doesn’t sound that great, I thought, but sure enough we picked up 12 IMPs. Before you could say mine’s a dry white wine, Martin came in and said: ‘Who ducked the ♠Q?’

Here is the hand. Don’t forget you have to duck smoothly.

West led a heart which went to Declarer’s Jack. South played ♠J to the 9, 3 and… 5! Fortunately South gave up on the Spade suit and played a small diamond towards the Jack. East won his King and switched to a heart, which dummy won with the Ace. Now Declarer took the club finesse, cashed the ◆Ace, the ♣Ace and exited with a club, leaving himself with only eight tricks. If East had won the first spade trick, Declarer has an easy route to ten tricks. Brilliant!

My sincere apologies to the EBU. In my last column I wrote that Covid was not responsible for the cuts to the Juniors. I was misinformed. Covid was entirely to blame.