Freddie North
Freddie North

Source: Aunt Agatha Plays Tournament Bridge

https://www.ebu.co.uk/ Frederick Lumsden North (1921-2009). Freddie North was one of the first bridge professionals of post-war England. In 1950, he opened The Sussex School of Bridge, which flourished until his retirement in 2000.

He won the National Pairs in 1952 in partnership with Chris Hunt, The Field Cup in 1958 opposite the great Maurice Harrison-Gray, and The Daily Telegraph Cup four times (1950, 1955-56, 1963 and 1967). In tandem with John Pugh, Freddie won the Pachabo twice (1959 and 1962) representing Sussex CBA, of which he was President for nearly thirty years from 1972. They also won the Gold Cup in 1962, playing with Harrison-Gray, Rockfelt and the Sharples brothers, and Crockfords in 1967 with Louis Tarlo and Claude Rodrigue as team-mates.

Freddie represented Great Britain in the World Pairs Olympiad of 1962 and 1966, and played with Dimmie Fleming in the 1962 World Pairs.

It would be a strange competition indeed if Aunt Agatha failed to have her occasional success. An unlucky event it may have been, but it was not all one-way traffic, as we shall see on this following hand.

IMPs Dealer. East All VUL

5 3
K Q 10 9 4
9 5 2
9 7 6
A K Q J 10 8
J 7
A 3
A 10 2

Aunt Agatha virtually bludgeoned her way to 4, which does not look too happy a contract. West led the queen of diamonds.

How should declarer plan the play?

Deciding that her opponents, a young pair who looked studious and alert, would never muddle their signals when it came to holding up the ace of hearts, she conceived what the industrialists call “a viable proposition”. With only nine tricks on top and no apparent way of collecting a tenth; unless the ace of hearts was a singleton; Aunt Agatha planned that the opponents, despite their tender years, should act as Father Christmas.

This was the full hand:

5 3
K Q 10 9 4
9 5 2
9 7 6
9 7 4 2
A 8 3 2
Q J 10
5 4
6
6 5
K 8 7 6 4
K Q J 8 3
A K Q J 10 8
J 7
A 3
A 10 2

The queen of diamonds was allowed to hold the first trick and the continuation won with the ace. Trump were drawn in four rounds, dummy discarding a hearts and a club. Now South exited the two of clubs. East won and continued the suit, declarer taking her ace.

A heart to dummy, West having no option but to duck, allowed Aunt Agatha to complete the key play of ruffing a diamond. Now when she produced her second heart, West was well and truly cast in the unwanted role of benefactor. Stripped on his safe cards of eit, West’s only option was to duck or win the ace of hearts. In either case Aunt Agatha had her Christmas present.

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