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.
This was the bidding:
What would you lead?
At another table Sabine Auken led the J. Unlucky this time.
Cleopatra led the J!!
McGowan, though puzzled by the appearance of the Q and 10 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.
Maud's spectacular lead of the J 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 J 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....