St. Louis Report

Author: Larry Cohen
Date of publish: 03/20/2007
Level: Intermediate to Advanced

I just returned from the Nationals in St. Louis. What a letdown after the previous Nationals in Honolulu! Maybe St. Louis has the arch, the Cardinals, and nice suburbs, but the downtown area was dark, deserted, and depressing. Oh well--we were there to play bridge.

The most shocking deal of the week brought back memories of one of my favorite bridge stories. Many years ago, Mark Cohen (NJ) went minus 4600 on a partscore deal. His teammates were -140 against 2?. Anyone who knows the IMP scale, is aware that it "ends" at 4,000. At that point, the maximum swing of 24 IMPs is lost. Knowing this, Mark was ready for the score comparison. When his teammates innocently read out, "minus 140," he replied, "Lose 'em All." His teammates didn't get it. "What?" they asked. "Lose 'em All" Mark repeated. Still not understanding that this "meant lose all 24 IMPS," one of them asked, "We could have held it to minus 110--would that have made a difference?"

I've been waiting many years to have a chance to say "Lose 'em all." (Well, not really--I'd rather say "Win 'em all.") In the St. Louis 2-Day National Swiss, some good friends of mine came running up to me with a deal. Sure enough, they "lost 'em all." Click here to read how.

I can't say it was a great tournament for me. Just a bit mediocre with overall placings in every event, but nothing higher than 7th. If you can't do, you can write. At least I was chosen to be the Bridge World magazine reporter (a very prestigious job) and I wrote up the story of Henner-Welland's win in the Vanderbilt.

On one wild deal, a special lead agreement was the key--click here to read about it. I did have one other triumphant moment when I made a spade slam with a 4-0 break. The ?Q1087 were behind my ?AJ653, but one of those losers disappeared into thin air. To read Barry Rigal's report of the deal, click here.