Page 0036

FEB_08_EB p36 Tolle_Smith 14/1/08 3:07 pm Page 32

Four Weddings and

a Funeral at the Tolle


sions of failure. held the biggest hand of the weekend:

And sure enough, like a familiar Richard What should he do

Curtis script, this year’s Tolle was the same ♠AK over his partner’s

old story. Despite being drawn in a tough ♥ Void opening weak two in

group with the likes of Surrey, Leicester- ♦AK854 hearts? A simple leap

Nick Smith shire, Lancashire, Sussex and Nottingham- ♣AKQJ54 to 6♣? South started

shire, my own modest little county, Oxford- with 3♣, over which

shire, hovered in the top two for most of North jumped to 4♥.

Hugh Grant to Andie MacDowell the tournament despite one brute of a What next? South decided to cue-bid his

on ex-partners: ‘So what is a fair run hand first thing on Sunday morning spades but North was not on the same

these days, down your way?’ against Notts where two of our pairs bid a wavelength and passed!

respectable slam which depended This was the full deal:

OLD-fashioned souls may still pair off for (essentially) on playing a trump suit of

life but serial monogamy has been the 10-8-6-5-3 opposite A-K-9-7 for no losers.

story of my bridge-playing life. I own up When you start with the ace from dummy, Game All. Dealer North.

to twenty-two regular partners (to date) the queen falls on your right. With no ♠7652

but only with nine of them have I gone the other clue to work on, both our declarers ♥ K Q J 10 7 6

whole way. To the likes of Hinckley, that is, applied the Principle of Restricted Choice, ♦J2

for the ultimate test of any relationship – only to lose to queen-jack doubleton. ♣2

the Tollemache Qualifier. Both Notts East-Wests stopped in game, ♠ Q83 ♠ J 10 9 4

It was good to reminisce on the way up. so this was a net 88 IMP swing. A 10-10 ♥ A92 W




Number one . . . kinda nice; number two VP draw (if PRC works) became a 2-18 VP ♦ 763 S ♦ Q 10 9

. . . odd! numbers three and four . . . defeat. ♣ 10 9 7 3 ♣86

sensitive, caring, intelligent, but bridge-wise As we limped to the close, our total of ♠AK

a real low patch; number five . . . so sweet 100 VPs seemed to leave us in third place ♥ Void

but she broke my heart; numbers six and behind Surrey (122) and Lancashire (104) ♦AK854

seven . . . ugh, beards far too long. Number but, half an hour and one successful appeal ♣AKQJ54

eight . . . wore out his welcome with random later, we were through to the final on a split

Precision. And so to number nine, yet tie. The team departed in triumph only to

another beardie called Alan! discover the following day that a single score I led the ace of hearts against 4♠ and was

For me the Tollemache is a microcosm had been wrongly entered (by Surrey) and a little surprised when this was trumped

of all my bridge relationships. It has every we were back down to third behind Lancs. with the ace. Declarer cashed the king of

ingredient: the fireworks at the beginning, Sic transit gloria, yet again. And after all the spades and the ace of clubs, and then

the dreams of permanence, the wild celebrations, a belated funeral. ruffed a club in order to lead a trump off

Saturday evenings, the utterly sleepless One of the dafter hands of the weekend table. When declarer showed out, I had a

nights, the mornings after the nights before, came against a very strong pair (their quick chortle and overtook partner’s nine

the nightmare of tears, recriminations, names, as well as the name of their county, with the queen. Not content with that, I

occasional bloodshed and eventual admis- are withheld to protect the guilty). South then found the misère return of my last

spade, drawing dummy’s final trump.

Partner was compelled to win the trick –

and there is no defence from here to beat

2007 TOLLEMACHE CUP QUALIFIER the contract! At length he tried the ten of

THE Tollemache Cup is the national inter-county teams-of-eight competition. There diamonds, and was mightily relieved

is a qualifying round in November consisting of four groups of approximately nine when South rose with the ace. Now

teams, seeded on the basis of the previous year’s success. The top two teams in each declarer had to concede a diamond and a

group then progress to the final held in February, an all-play-all round-robin.

trump for one off. Only my partner

emerged blameless from this débacle, I

This year, the qualifiers were Kent, East Wales, Surrey, Lancashire, Gloucestershire,


Norfolk, Cambs & Hunts, and Middlesex. It is the first time ever that a team from

All in all, the Tolle was great fun and I

Wales has qualified for the final.

will hope to be back next year, with or

without partner number nine!

32 English Bridge February 2008


  1. Page 0001
  2. Page 0002
  3. Page 0003
  4. Page 0004
  5. Page 0005
  6. Page 0006
  7. Page 0007
  8. Page 0008
  9. Page 0009
  10. Page 0010
  11. Page 0011
  12. Page 0012
  13. Page 0013
  14. Page 0014
  15. Page 0015
  16. Page 0016
  17. Page 0017
  18. Page 0018
  19. Page 0019
  20. Page 0020
  21. Page 0021
  22. Page 0022
  23. Page 0023
  24. Page 0024
  25. Page 0025
  26. Page 0026
  27. Page 0027
  28. Page 0028
  29. Page 0029
  30. Page 0030
  31. Page 0031
  32. Page 0032
  33. Page 0033
  34. Page 0034
  35. Page 0035
  36. Page 0036
  37. Page 0037
  38. Page 0038
  39. Page 0039
  40. Page 0040
  41. Page 0041
  42. Page 0042
  43. Page 0043
  44. Page 0044
  45. Page 0045
  46. Page 0046
  47. Page 0047
  48. Page 0048
  49. Page 0049
  50. Page 0050
  51. Page 0051
  52. Page 0052
  53. Page 0053
  54. Page 0054
  55. Page 0055
  56. Page 0056