Sometimes Janet teases me that this should be called the David Gold Column, as I mention his name so frequently. It’s true — David is a good friend as well as my bridge mentor, so he often points out interesting hands for me to write about. But it’s also true that over the past few years, David — who is still only 36 — has become one of the leading lights in world bridge, and an absolutely pivotal member of the England team.
He also can’t stop winning things. The latest notch on his belt — as part of Alexander Allfrey’s team — is the Spring Fours in Stratford which, as Janet wrote last week, is about the best event on the English bridge calendar. So yes, here is a hand expertly played by David during that event — he brought home a game by capitalising on the smallest of defensive errors:
West led a spade. David rose with dummy’s ♠A, and continued with the♠K. Next he cashed the ♦A, crossed to hand with a trump, and played the uK, pitching a club. He then led a heart to dummy’s ♥K, which held, and a heart back towards his ♥9. West won with the ♥10 and now made a tiny but understandable error: he cashed the ♣A before switching to a low club. David ruffed, and continued with the ♥J, discarding his last diamond from hand. West was caught in a very unusual end-play. His last three cards were ♥A ♣K10. Declarer held ♠10 ♣J8 and dummy held ♠8 ♥86. If West played the ♥A, David could ruff in hand, ruff a club in dummy and cash his winning ♥8. If West played the ♣K, David could ruff in dummy, ruff a heart in hand, and cash his winning ♣J.