june.indd

English 55 Brian zeitman William Hardoon is one of the more colorful characters on the Israeli bridge scene. He was a champion player in his native Iraq, won the Teheran championships in Iran 1978 (we did not believe him until he brought an enormous cup to prove it) and then played bridge when he arrived in Israel. He had a break of 25 years and returned to playing bridge 15 years ago. The last bridge book he read was by Mr Ely Culbertson. ToquoteWikipedia: “ElyCulbertson (July22,1891 – December 27, 1955) was an entrepreneurial American contract bridge personality, dominant during the 1930s. He played a major role in the early popularization of the game, and was widely regarded as “the man who made contract bridge”. He was a great showman who became rich, was highly extravagant, and lost and gained fortunes several times over.” Culbertson based his opening bids on 2½ quick tricks and 4 card suits – queens and jacks were not considered important. This was before the Milton Work point count that we use today (Ace=4, King =3, Queen =2 and Jack =1). So back to Board #33 in the Simultaneous Pairs, which I played with my partner Malka Yaacov against William and his charming wife Ofra. Board 33, Dealer North, Vul E/W ♠ ♥ ♦ ♣ K764 AT94 A53 42 ♠ ♥ ♦ ♣ AQJ93 KQ7 K9 T65 ♠ ♥ ♦ ♣ T852 65 J2 KQ983 ♠ ♥ ♦ ♣ - J832 QT8764 AJ7 In her commentary, Noga Tal (who wrote an excellent analysis of the hands for the Simultaneous) did not consider North›s hand as worth an opening bid. After all, it was just 11 high card points. But William saw his 2½ Culbertson quick tricks with his 2 red aces and the king of spade. He opened 1 ♣ (short club), another relic from the past. This was the bidding at our table: West North East South Brian Willian Malka Ofra 1 ♣ Pass 1 ♥ * 1 ♠ 2 ♥ 2 ♠ 3 ♥ 3 ♠ Pass Pass 4 ♥ Dbl Pass Pass Pass *Why bid a 6 card diamond suit when you have a 4 card heart suit? Wouldn’t you double with West’s hand? I did, After all had 15 HCP and KQx in their trump suit. In addition, partner promised 6-9 points and they were pushed to 4 ♥ after trying to stop in 3 ♥ . My trumps honors were worth only one trick, and the long diamond suit provided a parking place for North’s losers. 4 ♥ doubled made gave them a shared top (only three other pairs recorded plus 590 out of 120 tables in which this deal was played). So, next time I play with a new partner, my fi rst question will be: “Do you play Culbertson and Truscott?” If he asks me: “Do you play Stayman and Blackwood?”, I will reply: “No, I don’t believe in all these newfangled gadgets!” Simultaneous Pairs, April 2013

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