Magazine article The Spectator

Bamboozled

Magazine article The Spectator

Bamboozled

Article excerpt

SWEDISH international Gunnar Hallberg is not a man who often makes mistakes; he's as technically perfect as a bridge player can be. Getting the better of him at the table is, in football terms, as unlikely as getting the ball off Wayne Rooney. So to hear him exclaim the other day, 'I got it wrong! I can't believe you did that!' was enough to make everyone's head turn. The person he was addressing was Janet de Botton, and, with a mixture of annoyance and admiration, he gave her the backhanded compliment: 'I didn't think you'd be capable of defending like that.' This is the hand:

West led the [spades]8. Gunnar ducked and Janet (East) won with the [spades]10. She returned the [spades]K, and Gunnar won with the [spades]A. Next, he played the [clubs]A, [clubs]K and a third club. If clubs didn't divide 3-3, his plan was to ruff his fourth club with dummy's [hearts]A, and then run the [hearts]10, playing Janet for the [hearts]Q (his ten tricks would be: a spade, five hearts, a diamond, two clubs and a club ruff). …

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