While attending the Ottawa Regional tournament, upon completing the Sunday pairs, I decided to kibitz the final of the Sat./Sunday KO.

Chris Compton, photo by Peg Kaplan
Chris Compton, photo by Peg Kaplan

I asked Chris Compton if I could watch and he agreed. He was playing with Vincent Demuy. I understand it was a closely contested match, with Demuy team down 5 at the half.

The players were well into the second half when Chris asked me to play the dummy. Vincent was in 2Spade Suit, just in.

A moment later, 3 youth players, Jacob Freeman, Martin Zhao and Albena-Maria Vassileva joined as kibitzers.

Martin Zhao, Olivia Laufer, Albena Vassileva & Jacob Freeman (average team age 15) won the Sunday Mid-Flight Swiss Teams

A couple of boards later, Chris’s LHO was excusing himself from the table and, being the shy, reserved person that he is, Jacob asked if he could bid the player’s hand, to which Chris’s RHO said “Sure”.  Vincent decided he needed to leave the table as well, and it was agreed that Martin and Albina could ‘share’ the responsibility of bidding Vince’s hand, Martin held 7 cards, Albena 6. Now we have five players.

Vincent DEMUY
Vincent DEMUY

Chris announced that talking was allowed during the bidding, in order to keep things equitable.The following auction proceeded, starting with Chris’s RHO:

1Heart Suit, 1Spade Suit, 2Heart Suit (by Jacob), “Responsive doubles apply” announced Chris, with huge smiles Martin and Albena happily placed the double card on the table, pleased to be involved in the auction.

3Diamond Suitfrom opener (unfortunately no announcement as short-suit game try), pass, 4Heart Suitby Jacob, all pass.

Chris’s LHO had returned and was about to seat himself as dummy, when Jacob asked if he could now become declarer. RHO said “Sure”. Jacob pointed out that he was “pretty good” at declaring. Unfortunately, the contract drifted down one as Jacob’s diamond values were of no use to declarer.

I don’t know how this result compared at the other table, Demuy team went on to win the match and event.

However, you can imagine the excitement and memories of the young players when they got to ‘play with the pros’.

Debbie Bennett, who once represented the Canadian Bridge Federation at a tournament in France
Debbie Bennett, who once represented the Canadian Bridge Federation at a tournament in France

What a wonderful gesture on all players’ behalf to allow these players to ‘join in’.

Kudos to all involved.

What a feel good story.

Debbie Bennett