Ire­land’s fa­vorite day of the year

Times-Herald (Vallejo) - - CLASSIFIED­S - By Phillip Alder

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.

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