Thursday, 15 November 2012



Getting declarers to abandon a winning line for a losing one takes great skill at deceptive play, and Johnny had read all the books on this particular subject. For over 20 years he had been waiting for a hand , identical to the one which  earned Maurice Harrison-Gray well deserved praise from all of his illustrious peers.
After East had opened 3S  South, in the hideous shape and form of Bigot-Johnson, took the plunge and bid 3NT.
Sitting West was Johnny who, because it was Bigot,  doubled with real menace and intent.
With no further bidding, Johnny kicked off with his 8 of spades, and Bigot sensibly allowed East to take the first two tricks, before taking his Ace on the third round of the suit.
However, suspecting that his partner had no entry to his winning spades, Johnny could see that Bigot would make this contract harvesying 1S, 5D and 3H .....not to mention 1C the cards appeared to be sitting. Bigot had to be deflected from tackling diamonds.....and just like Maurice over half a century ago.....he discarded his diamond Ace on the third round of spades !
Bigot of course fell for the trap, smug in his analysis that Johnny must have started off with Ax and was looking to create an entry to East's hand if he was holding Qx in diamonds. So Bigot put plan B into action by switching his attention to clubs. At trick 4 his overtook his heart jack with dummy's queen to try a club finesse with the queen. Johnny pounced with his King, only to return the predictable diamond. 
In a flash, Bigot took the trick with the King to attempt yet another club finesse, quietly confident that East still had room for the jack with his original bid. 
So when Johnny pounced on Bigot's 10 of clubs with that nasty jack.... only to follow it up with the winning queen of diamonds, Bigot's shame and embarrassment was complete. And to see a grown man cry like a blubbering schoolboy was indeed a sorry and pitiful sight. As for the onlookers they could only admire a great man following in the footsteps of a former star from a bygone era.


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