The second annual Worldwide Bridge Contest, sponsored by the Japan-based Epson Corporation, was held on May 16 in more than 80 countries. Identical, prearranged deals were played at each site starting at 2:00 P.M. (EDT). This simultaneity caused some unusual starting times (particularly in the Far East), but it was necessary to protect the integrity of the event. Each of the 75,000-plus participants received a souvenir booklet (after the game, of course) containing analyses of the deals by veteran film star and excellent bridge player Omar Sharif. The nearly 50-percent rise in attendance over last years inaugural shows that this event is here to stay.
The top five places, respectively, went to pairs from England, Austria, Canada (Ontario), New Zealand and U.S. (Penn.). Placing 20th and first in Florida were Gert Feingold of Lauderhill and Richard Garber of Tamarac, who pulled off a smooth operation on todays deal (No. 24 from the booklet).
After Wests preemptive opening, North overcalled three spades, and East created a small nuisance with four diamonds. Garber, South, had a tough decision: Should he be conservative and bid game? Or be aggressive and try for slam? Knowing Garber, it is not surprising which course he took. Further, he had to choose between spades and hearts as trumps; and to that extent he reasoned shrewdly: The opponents might be able to cash two club tricks, and East was more likely to find that lead (and how!); therefore, to place West on lead, he opted for hearts after a routine check for aces with Blackwood.
Call it cleverness or call it luck
but dont call East (hes still lying in the recovery room). West led a diamond as expected and Garber played accurately: Heart king; diamond ruff; heart finesse not the usual play with nine trumps, but correct here because of Wests preemptive bid and thus made his slam with an overtrick.
© 1987 Richard Pavlicek