Bridge | 19 June 2021

19 June 2021

9:00 AM

19 June 2021

9:00 AM

Immense excitement in the relatively tiny world of bridge — the English Bridge Union has announced that the Premier League will be held face to face, beginning in September at the brand new Young Chelsea venue in London. Sadly not all our clubs will be reopening, the tremendous toll of the past 18 months having made many of them unviable.

But it hasn’t been all bad; the three biggest pluses for me were brilliant online tournaments (even though the cognoscenti call them computer games with cards), no travelling and no fuming partners starting every sentence with: ‘Why did you…?’

And the three deal-breakers? Cheating, cheating and cheating.

We all know that giving a ruff and sluff is the bridge player’s own goal except very occasionally when it is… not. But how on earth do you know when that moment comes?

I’m sure I found the winning defence on this hand because we were playing online, sparing myself the (metaphorical) laughing in bemused agony if it all went wrong.

My K,Q of Diamonds held the first two tricks, East signalling an even number. I began counting and knew that my partner could have no more points outside the A◆. Then suddenly I saw it; I have the contract off in my own hand by playing a third Diamond! Wherever he ruffs it, I’ll duck two rounds of trumps. If he plays a third round, I’m ahead with the force and it goes two down. If he starts to cash side suits, I get a ruff. They’re not laughing now.

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