Monday, April 9, 2007

Down memory lane - part 2

My first US trip was in May 1990. I went to New York and Atlantic City with Magnus Lindkvist. On the agenda were the classic Cavendish Invitational Pairs and the Omar Sharif Individual (which Zia won and writes about in his autobiography).

Magnus and I were staying with the late Edgar Kaplan in his combined living quarters and Bridge World office. Quite an experience. No memorable finishes in either event but this deal against Paul Soloway in the Cavendish is hard to forget.


This was Paul's hand and the auction started with a Swedish 2-way 1C (11-13 bal / any 16+) to his right. After a positive reply showing 5+ spades by LHO (that would be me) and a relay sequence, opener having a strong hand, the auction eventually came to a halt in 6S and he had to lead.

There seemed to be some confusion about the later parts of the bidding; probably a wheel or two had come off. Dummy had shown 55 in blacks but declarer seemed to believe something else and the ensuing ace-asking mechanism probably had misfired as well (as a consequence).

A lone, young, female kibitzer leaned over to see Paul's hand as he led the obvious ace of diamonds to check dummy. This was the view (Paul and dummy screen-mates):


Partner discouraged and Paul shifted to a heart as this was the most likely trick to disappear if the defence had another ace. About 10 seconds later, declarer claimed.


This was some contract. It required the ace of diamonds lead, suit breaking 3-3, a heart away from the queen (unless finesse working) and a non-club continuation. Not to forget that the trumps queen had to be neutralized, one way or the other. Now all the clubs in dummy went away on red cards for +1430, cross-imped.

Paul didn't say anything. Sabine Zenkel (Auken), the kibitzer, left the table.

I love this game...

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