Magazine article The Spectator

Total Recall

Magazine article The Spectator

Total Recall

Article excerpt

I USED to take pride in my ability to remember interesting hands for days, or even weeks, after playing them; but since partnering Espen Erichsen at the Year End Congress in London, I feel I virtually suffer from amnesia. It's no exaggeration to say that Espen has total recall: he can remember not just his own hands, but what everyone else held too - sometimes for months and even years afterwards.

This is something all experts can do up to a point, but Espen is astounding. Last week, I decided to test him on hands from the Year End; reading from the print-outs, I gave him just one line of cards and he rattled off all four hands with breathtaking speed, recalling even the non-honour cards.

This means, of course, that none of my mistakes ever slips by his eagle eye. On this slam, for instance, he thought I should have taken a different line:

West led a spade. I won with the [spades]A, drew trumps, finessed the diamond, ruffed East's spade return and later took the heart finesse. …

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