Janet de Botton

Bridge | 8 June 2017

Every time I read Andrew Robson’s bridge column and he mentions that ‘a reader from wherever’ sent him an interesting hand, I feel the putrid green god of envy enter my body and make its way slowly into my heart. Why? Why him? I ask myself. Why doesn’t some reader from ANYWHERE send me a hand? Is it because he’s a better player than me? Is it because his column is better than mine? Nah. Can’t be.

Well — it happened. A reader has sent ME a hand (eat your heart out, Robbo). Well, not really a reader — more of a friend, actually — and one I wrote up very flatteringly not so long ago. Still — today’s hand, sent to me by FH of London, was the most talked about hand from this year’s Bridge in the Forest tournament held in Poland and was played by B.J. ‘Binkie’ Callaghan, not one to miss that sometimes vital extra chance:

West led a trump. It looks like declarer needs Diamonds 3–2 — where will trick 13 come from otherwise? But Binkie saw a tiny extra chance, and catered for it. After two rounds of trumps, he cashed the ♣King, entered dummy in Diamonds, and cashed the ♣Ace. When East followed with the Queen — and couldn’t ruff the Jack — two Diamonds went away from hand. A Diamond was ruffed high in hand, and the last trump in dummy provided an entry to the good Diamonds.

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