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A Hand From Double Bay...
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A statement in a recent Bridge Winners article reminded me of a hand from 2002, played in the $10 rubber bridge game at Sydney's Double Bay Bridge Centre.

Four players started a new rubber and I cut Mike Prescott, a strong and sensible player. On my left was Bob Richman, who played for Australia with all sorts of partners in all kinds of events. He was one of the greats. My RHO was one of Reese's "earnest toilers."

On the first hand I picked up a collection just a little weaker than my average rubber bridge holding, and here is the auction:

South
765
x
Jxxxxx
xxx
W
N
E
S
1
P
P
4
P
4
P
6
P
P
P

 

The lead was, unsurprisingly, a trump...

Mike
AKQ8xx
AKJxxx
Q
Avon
765
x
Jxxxxx
xxx
W
N
E
S
1
P
P
4
P
4
P
6
P
P
P

 

Bidding methods at the club were primitive: four-card majors, strong NT, Stayman and Blackwood. There were, over the years, many wealthy casual rubber players, and they had no interest in studying gadgetry.

Mike later said he chose 4D to shut out the minors... not unreasonable.

Now, as I said, the lead was a trump, and when dummy came down, a funny thing happened... there was a kibitzer, Michael Courtney, sitting in between Bobby and me, and he headed rapidly for the door.

 

Anyway, I won the spade in dummy... jack, low. I played A, heart ruff, ruffed a diamond and ruffed a heart.

On that last trick, Bobby discarded a club, with a very sour look.

I tabled my cards, saying, "Ruff a diamond, draw trumps, you get a club at the end."

This was accepted.

 

But I forgot to tell you something...

... the opening lead was the 9.

 

Bobby
92
xx
Qxx
xxxxxx
Mike
AKQ843
AKJxxx
Q
East
J10
Q109x
AKxx
AKJ
Avon
765
x
Jxxxxx
xxx
W
N
E
S
P
6
D

 

Bobby apologised to his partner; I don't know why, for if Bobby had said nothing, his partner would have not known anything could have been done differently.

 

Meanwhile, the rubber went on, and after a few hands Michael Courtney hurried into the room and over to our table.

"Don't worry. Bobby, that spade nine lead is only up on 17 websites so far..."

 

And what was the BW article that caused me to recall this?

Page 6 of this article:

https://bridgewinners.com/article/view/lose-the-trials-semifinal-with-me-viii/

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