RICHARD Coren of Florida won the major pairs event at the recent US nationals in Dallas in partnership with Bobby Levin and he also won the mixed pairs with Janice Seamon-Molson. But far more impressive than these wins is his battle with Crohn’s disease, an immune-related inflammatory bowel disease. He was diagnosed during his second year in law school when he suffered an episode so debilitating that he had to drop out and move back home to live with his parents, existing on a diet of Gatorade and bananas. Still, he did finish his law degree and built his own law practice. However, in 1994, two weeks after the birth of his daughter he was mistreated during what should have been a routine treatment. Sepsis set in causing multiple organ failure and he lay in a coma for four months. The hospital wanted to pull the plug but his wife said no. Then one day he woke up somewhat surprised to find himself hooked up to a ventilator with a crowd of doctors looking on.
No doubt this is why he plays bridge as if there is no tomorrow. Take a look at deal one, where he sat South.
When East overcalled in spades, Coren decided to sit on his solid eight card heart suit. Then over four diamonds he leapt to six notrumps, doubled by East. West led a low diamond. Coren played low in dummy and his fate hung on East’s next move. If East played the queen, it would win and a club shift would guarantee two down. But East, who had no idea about the eight card heart suit, quietly played the nine of diamonds allowing Coren to live on to fight another day. Coren won the 10 of diamonds and claimed his contract by way of eight heart tricks, two diamonds, one spade and one club.
How do you play four spades on deal two on the lead of the ace and king of spades?
If you ruff the second spade and draw trumps, you are down. The trouble is that you are out of trumps so when East gets in with the king of clubs he leads his last spade and you cannot prevent West running his spades for two down. The winning line is only slightly different. Instead of trumping the second spade, discard a diamond and trump the third spade. The difference is that now when East gets in with the king of clubs he has no spades left and you make your contract.