Book a Course

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

Good bye my friend, Shahriar

Shahriar Bakhtiar, who sadly died last month aged 72, was an integral part of the Andrew Robson Bridge Club since its beginnings in 1995. Every Tuesday morning he’d be there to supervise and help the learning players. “Go for it,” he’d say to justify some rash bid. This advice was often unconventional, as in, “the correct bid, or the Shahriar bid”.

Occasionally, he’d give odds as in, “I give you 50-1 against winning that contract.” Everybody loved his irreverence, the glint in his eye, the laughter.
Rubber Bridge
South Deals
None Vul
9 4
Q 9 5
K 5 4 3
8 7 3 2
10 8 7 3
J 10 7
Q J 10 8
6 5
W   E
K J 6
8 2
A 9 6 2
K J 9 4
A Q 5 2
A K 6 4 3
A Q 10
West North East South
Pass 2 1 Dbl2 6 3
All pass      
  1. Minimum but reasonable.
  2. Close — the lack of a fourth spade is a deterrent.
  3. Wild and reckless? A little, perhaps. However, there was always method in Shahriar’s madness — East’s take-out double has told him the black-suit finesses will be working.
6  by South
Lead:  Q


Shahriar was no mean player – watch him manoeuvre the play to make this “Shahriar bid”. When he saw dummy, I’m not sure he would have bet on himself to make 6  — even at 50-1.

West led the queen of diamonds, ducked all round, and continued with the jack, declarer ruffing. At trick three, declarer crossed to the queen of hearts (West in fact inserting the ten) in order to finesse the queen of spades. He cashed the ace of spades and when East correctly falsecarded by dropping the king (the card he was known to hold), Shahriar chuckled, “I don’t believe you.” Indeed, East would hardly make a take-out double of 2  with only two spades.

Declarer ruffed a third spade with the five of hearts then led a club to the ...ten. When he opened his eyes, he saw that his necessary deep finesse had succeeded. He now ruffed his fourth spade with the nine of hearts, East unable to overruff.

At trick nine, declarer led a second club to his queen. He cashed the ace-king of hearts, drawing the three remaining outstanding hearts, and tabled the ace of clubs and his remaining heart. That was an incredible 12 tricks and slam made — there had been no defence.

The staff and members of ARBC will all miss you hugely,Shahriar.

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