WALES has won the Commonwealth Nations Bridge Championship, played in Glasgow from September 8–14, with the silver and bronze medals going to England and India. The Australian open team (Adam Edgtton, Andy Hung, Ish Del’Monte, Liam Milne, Nye Griffiths, Peter Hollands) was beaten in the round of eight. The Australian women’s team (Barbara Travis, Candice Ginsberg, Sue Lusk, Margaret Bourke) narrowly missed the round of eight. Twenty-eight teams took part representing 18 countries.
A few other Australians took part, including Rose Moore and Jonathon Free of Perth. Their match against England 2 ended up in a draw but not before both sides had landed some heavy blows. On deal one Free-Moore gave West the sort of thrill that only a bridge player can understand.
Just picture yourself as West for a moment. You have quite a promising hand but things go instantly bad when your partner opens five diamonds, the bid you least wanted to hear. By now you are feeling gloomy so you are hardly surprised when North doubles. But you soon experience a dramatic mood swing when South emerges with a totally unexpected five hearts. You double and lead the jack of clubs. Declarer did well to play the ace and drop the king but you still have him four down for a penalty of 1100.
On deal two West leads the jack of spades against three notrumps and you have to decide how to play.
The trouble is that West will hold up his ace of diamonds until the third round, cutting you off from dummy. This will restrict you to just two tricks in diamonds and a total of eight. The only possibility for the extra trick is in clubs. This will be quite easy if the clubs break 3-3. You win the spade lead and play the king of diamonds and a diamond when West plays low, as he must. Now you simply concede two club tricks to establish a club trick and land your game.
But what if the clubs break 4-2, as they do in the diagram? This play will not work. Now you have to take one small extra step. Upon winning the opening spade lead, duck a club at trick two. They can win and lead a second spade but you win and cash the ace of clubs, dropping the queen, before playing on diamonds. You play the king of diamonds and a diamond to dummy, which West must again duck. Now you play a club from dummy and East, who holds C K10, cannot stop you making your vital extra trick with your C J6.