Sunday 05 December 1999
] J 7 2
_ 10 6 4 3
+ 10 7 5 2
[ 7 4
] Q 10 4
_ A 8 7 5
+ J 6 4
[ K 9 5
] A 9 6 3
_ K J 2
+ A 9 3
[ 10 6 2
] K 8 5
_ Q 9
+ K Q 8
[ A Q J 8 3
EVERYTHING about the 3rd Mind Sports Olympiad held last summer was impressive. Especially the cash prizes, which far exceeded the monies raised from the entry fees.
Today's hand features Boris Schapiro playing with his wife, Helen, in the MSO Bridge Mixed Pairs. When he won the World Senior Pairs in Lille in 1998, Boris Schapiro, then aged 89, became the oldest World Champion at any sport.
Boris, East, playing 5-card majors and a strong no-trump, was constrained to open One Club. South overcalled INT, West doubled, and when this came back to South she converted to Two Clubs, which was passed out.
West led a low diamond to Boris's ace, who returned one to the king. South played ace, then queen of clubs, taken by West, and a third diamond was played. Declarer won and chose to continue with _9, which ran to Boris's jack. He cashed _K and played a third, ruffed by declarer, who still declined to cash [J but played a small spade instead, to West's queen. West now played _A and, quick as a flash, Boris Schapiro ruffed his partner's ace with his [10. This play could not cost and stood to promote a trump trick for partner if she held [9 - as she did - for a two-trick defeat.
Boris was in the winning team at the first, unofficial, bridge World Championship more than 60 years ago, and he claims he is playing better than ever. His recent successes include Britain's premier teams event, the Gold Cup, (for a record 11th time) and the South African Teams Championship.
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