Ireland’s favorite day of the year
Today is St. Patrick’s Day, named, as you all know, for the patron saint of Ireland. Despite Ireland’s being the butt of countless jokes in Britain, many great things come from that country. Waterford glass and Guinness stout spring to mind.
There have been many talented Irish bridge players. Surely the most colorful was Monty Rosenberg, who died in 2002. He was a little guy who sat very quietly at the table, picking his opponents clean. Away from the table, he had a devious sense of humor.
The Irish finished third in the 1979 European Championship. This deal was Monty’s best from that event.
At the other table, the Dutch North cautiously passed out East’s fourspade opening. That contract drifted down two: poor compensation for a laydown slam in clubs or diamonds.
However, reaching either slam was easier said than done. Would you and your partner have managed it?
Monty was in five hearts: at first glance, a hopeless-looking contract. But Monty loved challenges. After winning the first trick with dummy’s spade ace, Monty judged it was likely that East had a singleton heart honor. So, he led the heart seven from the dummy, East’s ace collecting only low cards.
East continued with the spade queen. Monty ruffed, played a heart to the queen and cashed his six minor-suit winners. West was left with three trumps. The lead of another club forced West to ruff and lead away from his J-9 of hearts into declarer’s K-10 tenace. Five hearts bid and made.