Robert Darvas
Robert Darvas

Robert Darvas was born in 1903 in Budapest and passed away prematurely in 1957, he was one of the best designers of double dummy problems, and many of his deals are true pillars of Bridge literature. The best of his works, first published in 1947 was Right Through the Pack. This brilliant fantasy features each card in the deck telling its own fascinating story. Darvas was Hungarian and he was famous for his extraordinary gift of discovering the unusual features of hands. The world of the Bridge also remembered for his maneuver called «Robert Coup«. (Source: www.infobridge.it)

Spring

The championships concluded, new green cloth was put on the card-tables: the spring decidedly arrived. It became more and more difficult to create the bridge foursomes. Three young fellows agonized at a table. The club secretary already proposed to them three persons as fourth but they, refused. ‘Strangely enough, their analyses on bridge withered.

«Open the windows!» Willy exclaimed. » This close air is unbearable!»

» Close your opening » an auction-player vehemently reflected. » No card-player needs better air than ours!»

Willy was about to fly up and return the rudeness of the old bird but Austin tamed him. «Let him alone, an auction-player isn’t a bidding partner to you.»

The third member, Martin stood up: «Boys, let us apprecciate that spring has arrived, and let us find it . …outdoors!» He made without hesitation for the club-entrance, Austin and Willy went first to the cloakroom for their coats. When Martin stepped out through the entrance, a young woman stepped in. When some seconds later Austin and Willy looked for Martin they found him only after a longish search in the card-room, absorbed in a conversation with the young woman.

» Come here boys,» Martin exclaimed » we don’t need to look for the spring, the spring itself or herself has visited us. This is Willy, Austin, Violet. And now, nothing can be more fitting than to play some bridge.

Who was Violet ? The strongest side of her beauty was the fresh, immaculate complexion, her light fair hair framed a face which wasn’t perfectly beautiful: the broad forehead spoke of intelligence, the dark eyes revealed too deep feelings, the narrow nose showed sensibility, but at the same time the strong chin expressed independence and resolution. Her well-built figure was springy but full. For the case of simplicity allow me to present things. In the first rubber Martin and Violet played together, and their first hand was the following:

Dador: Norte, Vul: Ambos

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

 Q J 8 6 5 3 2
 9 3
 9 5 2
 A Q 9 2
 9 7 4
 A K Q
West North  East South
Austin Martin Willy Violet
 1
1  2 Pass  2NT
Pass  3 Pass 3
Pass 4 Pass 4NT
Pass 5 Pass  5NT
Pass 6 Pass 6NT
All Pass

After the agreeable bidding West attacked with the 10, East gave the queen. South entered his own hand with the A and led a small heart.

West gave low, North’s jack held the trick East discarding a club. Violet now cashed her high clubs, but East showed out on the third round. So West already was marked with six hearts, four clubs and one diamond, he had only two unknown cards.

In order to gain a perfect count Violet cashed the A in dummy and as West showed out, the count was completed. A short meditation supplied the winning end-play plan: Violet cashed two high spades and so reduced the West hand to four hearts with the king and a high club. A club was then led from dummy throwing in West who was forced to play from his heart tenace.

His heart lead meant a double gain for Violet: 1. One trick plus 2. A squeeze against East. Cashing the A Violet still held the diamond nine and a small spade. East was Vienna-couped. The performance was clear, delightful and smart. Martin’s enthusiasm was without bounds: » Well, you made me admire the play of the beauty at the same time as the beauty of the play. No higher bliss can be imagined for a passionate young bridge fan!»

And so Violet’s spring display sealed their friendship.