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A Family Team

The winning captain at the 2017 London Year End Congress Swiss Teams was world-famous American psychologist Marty Seligman. His three teammates are all England international players and all from the same family: David Bakhshi, his wife Heather and her son Liam Sanderson.

Seligman leapt to fame in the 1960s for his groundbreaking work in '1earned helplessness". As a psychology undergraduate at the University of Bristol in the early Eighties, I recall hearing his name mentioned frequently and reverentially. These days, he is an avid promoter for the new field of positive psychology, "the scientific study of what makes life most worth living". Like playing bridge.

Board Teams
South Deals
None Vul
J 10 9 7 5
K Q 10 8
K 5 4
A K 6 2
J 6 4
Q 9 3
J 6 2
W   E
Q 4 3
9 7 3 2
7 6
K Q 10 3
A 5
A J 10 8 2
A 9 7 5 4
West North East South
  H Bakhshi   Sanderson
Pass 1  Pass 2 
Pass 3  Pass 5 
Pass Pass Pass  

The Seligman team beat Kendrick in the last match to win on a split tie. This was the crucial deal. Both North-South pairs did well to reach 5  rather than 3 NT (down three on a club lead, assuming declarer plays diamonds in the nor-mal fashion, finessing into West).

Both Wests led a top spade. Versus Sanderson, West continued with a low spade at trick two. Declarer ruffed, cashed the ace of clubs, ruffed a club, crossed to the ace of hearts and ruffed a third club. He cashed the king-queen of hearts ( discarding a club and observing West's jack) and ruffed a third spade. He ruffed his fourth club (with the king) and his last three cards were AJlO. West ( whose last three cards were  Q93) could win only one trick. Game made.

At the other table, Seligman, West, switched to a heart at trick wo. Declarer won in hand with the ace and played ace of clubs and ruffed a club. He ruffed a spade and ruffed a third club. He ruffed a third spade and ruffed a fourth club, as West (crucially) discarded a heart.

Declarer could still have succeeded by ruffing a fourth spade then leading to dummy's king-queen of hearts, discarding a club, forcing West to ruff and lead from  Q9 round to his  AJ. When instead he tried the king-queen of hearts, West could ruff, exit with a spade and wait to score his queen of diamonds. Down one.

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