Book a Course

View all the latest courses going on at the bridge club and book yours now...
View Courses View Playing Schedule

Bridge with Omar

I haven’t been to the Deauville Summer Bridge Festival for some years, but with the combination of Bridge, golf and fabulous French cuisine, what’s not to like? But it is still frequented by the world’s most famous Bridge player, now 82 years old and semi-retired: yes – Omar Sharif.

It was almost 20 years ago that I partnered Omar – in Juan-Les-Pins. He really did play well then and I heard the great news that the old magic hadn’t disappeared.

On one deal Omar held x - Axxx AKQJxxxx. He heard his left-hand opponent open a “Multi 2  (showing a weak hand with a sixcard major) and right-hand opponent bid 2 NT (strong ask). Omar tried 3 NT – for now – and was surprised to be left there. Left-hand opponent led the queen of diamonds and dummy tabled  Kxxx and nine low cards. Omar was not hard pressed to score the first ten tricks for a top, but commented that he wanted to duck trick one, expecting a second diamond and an 11th trick (with a long diamond – on a 3-2 split).

Our featured deal from the Men’s Pairs was kindly given to me by Kent’s Jeremy Willans (West). He and Sussex partner Ian Lancaster failed to find their nine card
spade fit, but ironically this was to work rather well. The issue of whether to bid 7  over the opposing 7  sacrifice was never in the frame. Those East-Wests at other tables who bid on to 7  made it easily and registered +2210.

East Deals
Both Vul
5 2
J 9 8 7 5 3
8 5
J 8 3
A 9 7 6 4
A 6
A Q 10 7 4 3
W   E
K Q J 8
K J 9
A K 10 7 6 5
10 3
K Q 10 4 2
6 2
Q 9 4 2
West North East South
Willans   Lancaster  
    1  1 1
2  4  5 2 Pass
7 3 7 4 Dbl Pass
Pass Pass    
  1. Wafer-thin, but clearcut even vulnerable: he is very keen to receive a heart lead as well as on general disruptive principles.
  2. Showing a big diamond raise with first round control in the opposing hearts.
  3. Might bid 5 – even 6 – to show interest in bidding on higher than an opposing 7 sacrifice.
  4. Unilateral in front of partner, but North really doesn’t have any defence.

The English duo did a teeny bit better: and at Pairs that teeny bit is everything. West led the ace of spades v 7  doubled. He followed with a second spade, East winning, cashing the ace-king of clubs, (West discarding) and leading a third club which West ruffed. With the ace-king of diamonds and ace of trumps to come that was down eight and +2300!

ARBC: 31 Parsons Green Lane, London SW6 4HH
Call NOW: 0207 471 4626