Page 0043

2012 Schapiro Spring Foursomes

Amazing Come-back Clinches Final

by Simon Cope

ONE OF the highlights of our tournament The last stanza featured an extraordinary West North East South

calendar took place as usual over the May set of deals, with only one flat board and Forrester Liggins Gold Fawcett

bank holiday weekend in the delightful almost all of them having game-swing or 1®1 Pass 1™2

Stratford-Upon-Avon. This year we were slam-swing potential. With Allfrey picking Pass 1NT3 Pass 2t4

not blessed with the nice weather so often up a game swing and a part-score swing on Pass 2NT 5 Pass 3®6

seen, but there was plenty of great bridge the first two deals, it looked to everyone as Pass 3NT 7 Pass 4t8

to watch. There were some terrific hands though there was no way back for Liggins, Pass 4™ 9 Pass 4´10

throughout the weekend. but they had different ideas. They knew Pass 4NT 11 Pass 6t12

The main final of the double-elimination they would have to take a few chances in the All Pass

event produced such a magnificent spec- final set against a team of the calibre of 1 At least two clubs

tacle of bridge and drama that it seems only Allfrey, but they exhibited some superb 2 At least four spades

fair to focus on that. Glyn Liggins, Joe judgment in the auction and the play on 3 15+HCP, various hands

Fawcett, John Holland and Ben Green several deals, and here is an example: 4 Forcing to game, asking for more info

arrived in the final undefeated, having 5 18-19 Balanced

beaten Teltscher in the semi-final. They 6 At least five diamonds

would meet the No. 1 seeds, Alex ander N/S Game. Dealer North. 7 Two spades and three diamonds

Allfrey, Andrew Robson, Peter Crouch, ´ AK 8 Slam try, at least six diamonds

Derek Patterson, Tony Forrester and David ™ A652 9 ‘Kickback’ for diamonds

Gold, who had defeated a young team from t A K 10 10 One key card

the Netherlands, White House, in their ® J753 11 Asking for the queen of trumps

semi-final. As a result of their undefeated ´ 754 ´ Q 10 9 6 12 tQ, but no grand-slam interest

status going into the final, Liggins had eight ™ K9873 W

N

E

™ Q 10 4

extra boards available to call on should they t 32 S t J7 Glyn Liggins and Joe Fawcett play some

need it at the end of the scheduled thirty- ® 10 9 4 ® K862 unusual methods, and here those methods

two boards. They duly took them, being 29 ´ J832 helped them find their way to the excellent

IMPs down after thirty-two boards. In spite ™ J 6t contract. Having told partner he only

of the late hour, hundreds watched on BBO t Q9865 4 had three cards in diamonds, Liggins took

(www.bridgebase.com) as one of the most ® AQ control of the auction looking at his

exciting finals in recent memory unravelled. excellent controls and cards in partner’s

suits by bidding ‘Kickback’ – an alternative

form of asking for key cards.

The play presented no problems: Fawcett

won the heart lead, took a club finesse, and

now set about cashing his winners and cross

ruffing the hand, and with the actual

distribution he emerged with all thirteen

tricks. At the other table, the bidding

methods employed by Alexander Allfrey

and Andrew Robson did not allow for the

same high degree of precision, so the final

contract was 3NT which made ten tricks.

With the help of the 13 IMPs generated

on this deal, a scintillating last set ended

with a score of Liggins 60 – Allfrey 17,

Photo: David Stevenson

meaning that Liggins had won the Schapiro

Spring Foursomes by 92-78 IMPs.

Commiserations to the Allfrey team, but

above all huge congratulations to the

Liggins team, who produced one of the

2012 Schapiro Spring Foursomes winners: from the left, with sponsor Helen Schapiro, most magnificent come-backs in recent

Joe Fawcett, John Holland, Glyn Liggins and Ben Green times. r

www.ebu.co.uk June 2012 English Bridge 43

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