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A move to Eastbourne

This deal was the talk of the town on the 49th and last* Brighton Pairs.

East Deals
E-W Vul
8 6
8 6 5 4 2
J 9 8 7 5
A J 5
A Q 6 5 4
Q J 9 3
W   E
Q 10 7 4 2
J 9 8 3 2
K 9 3
10 7
10 7
A K Q 4 3 2
South West North East
1 NT1 Dbl2 Rdbl3 Pass
Pass4 Pass5    
  1. “15-19 balanced”.
  2. Penalties – and how.
  3. Get me out of here.
  4. Shan’t.
  5. Is it really December 25th already?

East opens 1  and you, South, with six likely club tricks and the king of spades over the bid, overcall 1 NT, “15-19 balanced”. West booms double and your partner redoubles for rescue. East passes.

When London’s Nick Boss sat South in a friendly game, West goaded him – “c’mon, pass it out for fun”. So Nick did pass, to everyone’s surprise (and North’s horror). West led his fourth highest heart and...

And you can see what transpired. Dummy’s singleton king of hearts won the first trick and six club tricks were quickly tabled. 1 NT redoubled making. N-S +560 and the N-S Top.

Seemingly everybody had a story to tell about the board, but this was undoubtedly the best...

The auction went identically to the Boss table, again South gambling a pass of North’s rescue redouble. West, Middlesex’s Lynton Stock went into the tank. What should he lead?

Eventually Stock decided, extremely wisely that to lead from an ace was folly. He fished out the queen of diamonds. East, England Junior International Shivam Shah, won the King, cashed the Ace and switched to a Heart.

West won the Ace of Hearts felling dummy’s king, cashed the Queen, then  J 9 (East throwing a Club and a spade) and led a third Heart. East won  J 9 8 and then, with declarer down to  K 9 of spades (and two clubs), led a low spade. A desperate declarer tried the king, but West won the ace and returned the jack. East overtook with the queen and tabled  10 7.

Declarer had not made a single trick. Seven down redoubled scored a whopping 3400 points to Stock-Shah and, needless to say, the E-W Top.

At a third table N-S bid up to 5  (a good save), pushing E-W to 5 . North led a club to South, Scotland’s Mike Ash, who promptly switched to a low spade. Great defence. Suspecting a singleton, declarer (a world champion) rose with the ace, crossed to a diamond and ran the jack of hearts. North won the king and led over to his partner’s king of spades. Down one.

*This year's the Summer Bridge Festival moves to the (slightly cheaper – the primary motivation for the move) Eastbourne.  This years  Ebu summer meeting runs from the19th -28th of August - details here.)

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