Over the many years I’ve been playing competitive bridge, I’ve managed to cobble together a system-file which now runs to about 20 pages. It’s basically a melting-pot of suggestions from the various pros I’ve been lucky enough to partner. But I haven’t a clue how to lay it out properly, and it’s full of gaps and inconsistencies. I’ve always looked with envy upon the neatly enumerated notes that some players carry around. But now I finally have my own, thanks to Peter Crouch. Peter is well-known as an England international, but he’s also the man to go to if you want any sort of help with your system. His efficiency and clarity of mind are extraordinary. Last weekend, he handed me my shiny new system-file — converted from my unwieldy notes — and we put it into practice at the Summer Festival Swiss Pairs. Turns out Peter’s also a wonderfully supportive partner, and we did pretty well for a first outing — helped of course by his superior play:
West led the ♦K, East following with the ♦5. Peter won and ruffed a diamond. Next he played a club to his ♣J, cashed the ♣A, and ruffed another diamond. East overruffed and the defence drew two rounds of trumps. Peter was pretty sure that West held the ♠K, as East had played the ♦5 at trick 1 (the ♦8 would have been a suit-preference signal, encouraging spades). He cashed the ♣K and ruffed a club. In the 4-card ending, he held ♠Q7 ♥K ♦7. West held ♠K10 ♦Q10. On the ♥K, West was squeezed. He discarded a diamond — so Peter threw him in with the ♦7, forcing him to lead away from his ♠K.
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