George Miller, an Australian-Greek moviemaker, said, “The trouble with eating Italian food is that five or six days later you’re hungry again.”
When you look at the final contract in today’s deal, you will assume that East-West were winning enough money for a multi-course Italian or Greek feast. But read on.
South was an expert playing in a big-money game with a much weaker partner. When North jumped to seven diamonds, South passed, primarily because he would have been the declarer. But when West made his misguided double, South ran to his eight-card heart suit. East was happy to double that.
West led the club king. Declarer won with dummy’s ace and called for the diamond ace. East ruffed low. After overruffing, declarer went to dummy with a spade and led the diamond king. Again East ruffed low. Declarer overruffed, returned to dummy with a spade and played the diamond queen. For a third time East ruffed low, and declarer overruffed. Now South cashed the heart ace, bringing down the king and queen!
“We were lucky the trumps broke evenly, partner,” quipped a happy declarer.
South was Englishman John Collings, who died in 2005. I was his partner during my early 20s. I still believe he was the most naturally talented player ever, but his lack of discipline stopped him from being even more successful. I always called Collings the Bobby Fischer of bridge.