Art Crawford was awarded the Louise Fritz trophy for winning the most points by a rookie in 2005. Congratulations, Art! To celebrate the last issue for 2005 with an illustration of exuberance, I present the hand played by Craig Jones in partnership with Art Crawford. They played in the Sectional Tournament at Clubs event and won north-south with a 60 percent score. Craig held the north hand, and when Art put him into game, he decided that slam was worth trying.
This is a slam somewhat against the percentages, since its success depends on a combination of a 3-3 split in hearts and/or clubs, as well as the finesse for the club king. Nonetheless these situations prevailed on this particular hand and the hand made 7 for a top board. Sometimes you have to take chances to get a good result, and this one worked out very well for Craig. When I played the hand in 4 hearts and made 7, my partner asked if I was interested in a slam. I said I didn't think my hand was that good, even after looking at the dummy.
The big winners in that event east-west were Keith Wright and Marilyn Edwards with a 73 percent game and a second overall finish among several hundred pairs. Good going, Marilyn and Keith.
I hope 2006 will reward the bridge community with many more sessions of our favorite game, and I know of one great event scheduled for May: The Great Potato Regional Tournament, a weeklong festival of bridge from May 15-21, 2006. This will occur at the Doubletree Riverside Convention Center, and if you don't fill your schedule and play all the events then you are missing out on a great opportunity. See you there.