For many players, bridge can be a very cruel game....the ultimate horror show. Why just the other day I had a distraught and deeply troubled Bigot-Johnson coming up to me with this horrendous story. As captain he was seriously involved in a crucial Intercities relegation-battle match against Wakefield BC, when the following hand turned up in the last set. North was dealt AQJxxx....KQx...xx...QJ, while South held a 5 point hand packed with intermediates: 109....J10x......109xx....A1098.
West meanwhile held : Kx....xx....AKQJxxx....xx opposite East's xxx...Axxxx...(void)...Kxxxx
On table 1, Wakefield West elected to open the bidding with a gambling 3NT despite having an outside King. This was doubled by Bigot's partner ( surely 3S was better ) and three quick passes followed. Such despair as the queen of spades was led out. Nine tricks were eagerly taken by West (1S,7D,1H), inflicting a devastating score of minus 750 to set the rot in.
On table 2, the same bidding sequence occurred, but this time Wakefield were defending. Somehow a visionary North kicked off with the queen of clubs, which was ducked by dummy. The jack of clubs followed, ducked by dummy again, only to be cleverly overtaken by South with the Ace. He then switched to the 10 of spades, which now resulted in six spade winners being cashed. A heart and a club were then conceded to East, only for N/S to harvest 3 more tricks. Minus 1700 for 7 off doubled was the stuff nightmares are made of.
On table 4, Bigot's other E/W pair elected to open 1D, with Wakefield North overcalling a strong 1NT. East felt obliged to pass, but South who rather liked his very meaty 5 raised to 2NT . This was doubled by West, so North bid 3S, only for South to convert to 3NT. This received another heftier double from West, which was passed out. However, it was West who was about to pass out next ...........as he waited in vain for East to lead a diamond! So yet again, the same 11 trick haul went to a Wakefield pair, adding another devastating -950 on Bigot's already horrendous looking team score-sheet.
On table 3, the other Wakefield West also opened 1D, which North doubled hoping to show his spade suit later. East passed, and South bid 1NT. West persevered with 2D allowing North to bid 2S. East passed again and South, believing his four to the 109 in diamonds might offer a possible stop in that suit, rebid 2NT. This was reluctantly raised to 3 by North. West carefully declined not to double this doomed contract for fear of a retreat to a makeable 4S.....and so E/W quietly harvested the first 8 tricks courtesy of 7 diamonds and the Ace of hearts. This minus 400 score boosted the aggregate score on this one horror board to -3800.
As it turned out this one nightmare board simply compounded the 20-o thrashing Bigot's rag bag outfit deserved, but for the man himself it was all too much to bear. First off, he sacked all 7 members from the team before throwing in the towel as captain. This he said he would enable him to concentrate on writing bridge blogs......in between ( of course ) the clandestine stalking of Percy Pantopod.