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APR_08_EB_p54 Hackett 14/3/08 5:29 pm Page 50

A day in the life of . . . Paul Hackett’s Top Tip

Paul Hackett Always consider raising partner’s

response even if you have only

three cards in his suit.

MANY will shake their heads and

Paul Hackett is Britain’s most successful professional player, with a long list of wins and disagree violently with this tip, but it

titles (both home and abroad) to his name. He was Zia Mahmood’s first ‘serious’ partner, appears to produce winning bridge.

and toured North Africa with the great Giorgio Belladonna in exhibition matches. When and why do I recommend

you give partner three-card support?

I AM a late riser: 10.30am is the earliest, with Jeff Morris, owner of the Manchester

since I never go to bed much before 2am. Bridge Club, for a chat. The rest of the 1. You should never have fewer than

four cards if you jump the bidding;

I play bridge most evenings and weekends, afternoon is spent relaxing, so that I am in

e.g. if you open 1♦ and partner

and am rarely home before 11.30pm – a lot good shape for the evening’s bridge. responds 1♥, a rebid of 3♥ should

later if I am playing away from Didsbury – I have over forty clients, so do not lack guarantee at least four hearts.

and when I am back I like to relax for a opportunities to play. Neither I nor my 2. You should not be 4-3-3-3. This is

couple of hours at least. I read, watch films, sons, Jason and Justin, are worried about pure no-trump shape.

or talk bridge with my son Jason who lives our clients’ bridge standard so long as they 3. If your holding is x-x-x and you

at home with me and my wife, Olivia. are pleasant people with whom to play and have values in your second suit or

Whatever I do, I will have a glass or two of travel. Travelling, besides genealogy, is my in your doubleton, you may decide

red wine, and go to bed a happy man. great passion, and I normally play in at least another rebid is better.

When I get up in two foreign tourna- Thus the two most common occasions

the morning, I first ments a month in all when you would support on three

have breakfast, usually corners of the world. cards are when you have three to an

fruit and coffee, to My favourite place is honour in partner’s suit and a small

which I am addicted. Trinidad, not only doubleton, or when you are 3-5-4-1

Then I spend at least because it is a truly and your four-card suit is a minor.

an hour on the inter- multi-racial society, For example:

net. I only play bridge but also because its

E/W Game. Dealer South.

professionally, unless Carnival gives me the

System: 1NT = 15-17 HCP

it’s for charity or in opportunity to pursue ♠ AJ93

invitation events, and I another hobby of ♥ Q43

pride myself in giving mine, dancing – al- ♦ 87

♣ Q762

Photo: Elena Jeronimidis

my clients good ser- though the most

vice. Unless they want energetic Latin Ame- ♠ 742 ♠ Q86


to be involved, I orga- rican rhythms are ♥ K9852 W E ♥ A J 10

nise everything: hotels, becoming a bit of a ♦ Q3 S ♦ J 10 9 2

♣ J 10 9 ♣ A83

flights, events, so that challenge as I grow ♠ K 10 5

all they have to do is older! Bora Bora and ♥ 76

turn up. The internet is ideal for finding Mnemba (an exclusive island off the coast ♦ AK654

the best deals and the best bridge events – of Zanzibar, where I was given a holiday in ♣ K54

in England, or abroad. lieu of payment for coaching bridge players

Having done my homework, I spend in Tanzania) are also places where I would West North East South


time on a great interest of mine, genealogy. love to return.

Pass 1♠ Pass ?

I have 4,000 names on my family tree, Since bridge has given me such a great

tracing my ancestry back in an unbroken life, I try to give something back to the The choices are 1NT or 2 ♠. My

line to 1140. I am still working on the earlier game. I am on the EBU Selection and Tour- recommendation is 2 ♠.

years: the first Hacketts (or de Hacket, as nament Committees, and am also a delegate Here is my reasoning: partner has

they called themselves then) were likely to for my county, Staffs & Shropshire. The bypassed 1♥, so his hearts are likely to

be Normans who came to England in 960. Buffett Cup, the Commonwealth Nations be shorter than his spades; in no-

They had settled in Ireland by 1180, and Cup and Jim McMahon’s Scottish Invita- trumps we are most likely to get a heart

lead, but in a suit contract we can ruff

seem to have changed their name to its tional are among the current events in

on the third round. Thus I rebid 2 ♠.

current spelling, Hackett, by 1212. I am the which I am heavily involved.

Looking at the two hands, you can

first Hackett to have been born in England Free evenings are spent going out for see 1NT is likely to go off unless you

and not in Ireland. meals with Olivia, Jason, Justin and his wife find the queen of spades, while 2 ♠

I like to have lunch at home, and then I Barbara (also a bridge international). As a may well make nine tricks.

go for a long walk. This is the only form of family, we are very close and enjoy each What if the opponents intervene?

exercise I take, but I take it regularly and other’s company, so our evenings out tend Well, then you should play support

seriously – even though I always have a to finish late. Just as well my job enables me doubles – but that’s another tip!

coffee while I am out, and often meet up to get up late in the morning!

50 English Bridge April 2008


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