The Cleopatras of Bridge



We first met our stars in Cape Town during the World Championship regional trials in December 1997. Since then our friendship solidified further when we visited them in Cairo (during a Ladies' evening at the Hilton, Cairo) and we exchange e-mails regularly and even play occasionally with them on OKB.

After the first round of Teams at Lille, Lily rushed to the closest OKB hook-up, and via the chat box exclaimed: "We beat your South African Ladies !!!". LOL. We accepted that statement with mixed feelings... yes, we love them.


The first hand featured comes from the daily bulletin of the 4th Generali Masters individual that was held in Ajjacio, Corsica, during 17-19 April, 1998. Partnering Liz McGowan, Lily was on lead:

Board 13, Game All, Dealer North.

Lily's hand

S KJ5
H J72
D K83
C J764

This was the bidding:

NORTH
Lily
Pass
Pass
Pass
Pass
EAST
delor
Pass
2 C
2NT
SOUTH
McGowan
Pass
Pass
Pass
WEST
willard
1NT
2 D
Pass
What would you lead?

 
  S KJ5
H J72
D K83
C J764
 
S 642
H KQ5
D A97
C AQ52
S Q10
H A643
D J1064
C 1098
  S A9873
H 1098
D Q52
C K3
 
At another table Sabine Auken led the HJ. Unlucky this time.

Cleopatra led the SJ!!

McGowan, though puzzled by the appearance of the SQ and S10 in dummy, wisely won the Ace and continued the suit.

A shared top, while most of the other declarers were making 9 and even 10 tricks!




Just 15 days later, Cleopatra2 enters the Hall of Fame with a similar spectacular lead!

During the Arab Championships held in Hurgada, Egypt, Maud won her team a big swing.

  S J87
H KJ10976
D KJ9
C 109
 
S KQ
H A83
D A65
C A7532
S A9543
H Q54
D 103
C Q64
  S 1062
H 92
D Q8742
C KJ8
 
The bidding:
WEST

1C
2NT
Pass
NORTH
Maud
1H
Pass
Pass
EAST

1S
3NT

SOUTH
Lily
Pass
Pass

Maud's spectacular lead of the DJ led to 2-down.

This was a swing of 12 IMP's to Egypt since the game was made at the other table on the HJ lead. Declarer won the ace, unblocked the spades, and advanced a heart.

The Egyptians Ladies went on to win the championship.




So, dear reader, when you have a tough lead to make, try sifting through your jacks first.

Fortune may smile at you too....


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