A Hollywood Ending by Fernando Lema


Buenos Aires, June 2, 2015

Fernando Lema
Fernando Lema

The Canadian Bridge Championships (CBC), formerly known as Bridge Week, is an annual eight day tournament that is usually held in the month of May and features multiple national competitions.

This year the CSTC (Senior category) offered the participants the extra chance to represent Canada in the d’Orsi Trophy in Chennai 2015.

The  CSTC final featured the Heino team vs the Carruthers team:

Heino Team: Janet Heino NPC, James Galand – Gerry McCully – Ken Scholes – Peter Herold play

Carruthers Team: John Carruthers – Joey Silver – Katie Thorpe – Martin Kirr – Michael Roche – John Rayner.

With two hands to go the Heino team accumulated a 21 IMPs advantage in their favor but …

Board 21: Dealer North N/S Vul

 K Q 9 7 6
 7 6          
 9 8 5 3 2
 A K 6 4 3           
 J 10
 A 8 5
 A Q 7
   10 7 5         
 A 8 5 3
 J 10 9 4 2          
   Q J 8 2   
  4 2
 K Q 3   
 J 10 6 4

Both tables played 4 by West and both declarers received a K lead.

James Galand from Heino won the lead with the A and left dummy playing the J, John Carruthers covered with his K and West played the A, cashed the A and the K, North showed out in the second round of the suit and now declarer had to lose 4 tricks: 2 trumps, a heart and a diamond, for one down.

Martin Kirr
Martin Kirr

At the other table Martin Kirr (Carruthers team) after winning the lead with the A, left dummy with a small diamond, South did not see the need to cover with one of his top honors and West won the trick with the 8.

Now Martin cashed A and the K and North showed out in the second round of the suit, the contract seemed doomed. However, as often happens in bridge, declarer found a solution to his problem:

West left his hand playing a club to dummy’s K and a diamond, North played his Q and Martin won with the A, this was the 7 cards end position:

 Q 9 7 
 9 8 3 2
 6 4 3           
 A Q 
 8 5 3
 J 10 9           
   Q J   
 J 10 6 

Now declarer cashed the A and the Q pitching two hearts from dummy and continued playing the J, North won the trick with his Q but he was endplayed: he had to play a club or a heart for a ruff and a sluff. Martin ruffed with the 10 pitching his diamond loser, 10 tricks and 10 IMPs! Reducing the gap to 11 IMPs with only one hand to end the match.

Board 22: Dealer East E/W Vul

   10 7 6
 J 6 5
 10 9 5 4 2          
 10 4
 A 8           
 A 9 8 2
 A K J 7
 Q J 7
   K Q 5 3        
 4 3
 Q 8 6          
 A K 3 2
   J 9 4 2   
 K Q 10 7
 9 8 6 5

In the Open Room McCully, as East, opened with 1NT, West answered with a Stayman 2 for majors and after receiving a 2 response jumped to 6NT closing the bidding.

South led his K and declarer made his 12 tricks, 3 spades, one heart and four tricks in the minors, scoring 1440 points.

In the other room the bidding was totally different:

West   North    East   South  
    1  Pass
1  Pass 1 Pass
2 Pass  3 Pass
3 Pass   3 Pass
4NT Pass  *5 Pass
 5 Pass   6 Pass
 7 The End

* One key card.

Katie Thorpe
Katie Thorpe

The whole auditorium was watching Katie Thorpe play.

South led his K and East played dummy’s A. After a quick analysis declarer concluded that he needed to ruff a spade in dummy for her 13th trick.

Katie cashed the Q and the J both defenders played clubs, she continued playing the A, returned to her hand with a spade to her K and ruffed a spade with dummy’s last trump.

The final was automatic, Katie returned to her hand playing a diamond to her Q cashed the A and K, eliminating all defenders trumps and claimed 13 tricks: 2140 points and 12 IMPs for the match and the teams tickets to India…for only 1 IMP.

A Hollywood Ending!…Well Done Katie.