Magazine article The Spectator

Table Manners

Magazine article The Spectator

Table Manners

Article excerpt

RUBBER bridge players tend to he an impatient lot. At my club as few hands as possible are played out: we prefer to lay our cards on the table at the first opportunity and state what we intend to do. ('I discard my losing hearts on my clubs,' or whatever.)

The better the players, the more they 'claim' rather than play the hands - and the more complicated the explanations ('I draw trumps then strip and end-play West . . .').

Unal Durmus was in an ambitious slam the other day; while many lesser players would struggle on to the bitter end and fail, he announced after the third trick that, whatever the lie of the cards, he would make it via a double squeeze:

West led the [clubs]Q, won with dummy's [clubs]A. With only ten top tricks, things looked hopeless. But when Unal played a spade to his [spades]A, West's [spades]Q fell. He played a spade to the [spades]J just to check it was a singleton, then spread his cards, explaining that if diamonds didn't divide 3-3, West would be squeezed in clubs and diamonds, or East in spades and diamonds. …

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