A Bridge Phantasmagoria
A KREYNES-SLAVENBURGH THUNDERBOLT
Kreynes and Slavenburgh, one-time world champions, were the most colourful and exciting pair of their era and were largely responsible for boosting the Dutch into second place in both the 1965 and 1966 European Championships.
You may or may not have heard the expression A Kreynes-Slavenburg Thunderbolt but a hand from their first international will put you in the picture.
East-West game: East deals
The other Dutch pair had bid to Six spades and had made seven and were fearful that the French would bid the grand slam against Kreynes and Slavenburgh. They need not have worried. The auction in the other room developed in an unexpected and sensational manner, when Kreynes and Slavenburgh held the South and North cards.
Eight down would only have cost 1500 points but the play was even more fantastic. West started off the ace king and queen of spades. Not relishing a lead from a red tenace, he blundered by leading a club, although surely a heart in partnerís bid suit would have been safe. Slavenburgh at South quickly won the king of clubs. He cashed the eight of spades, baling out West and rattled off six more club tricks to make his farcical contract.
The result was a slam in spades on the East-West cards and a game in spades on the North-South cards and pandemonium in the recording room.
They still had several thunderbolts in the locker as evidenced by two other hands from the 1967 European.
East-West game: South deals
The Swedes Voight and Hulgaard had bid to Six Spades and had made seven by ruffing two clubs, which is fair enough as an overruff will not defeat the contract.
On bridgerama Hollandís star pair climbed all the way to the grand slam in spades with Kreynes the declarer. The king of hearts was taken by the ace and the ace of spades was cashed in the hope of dropping the queen. Failing this, the choice seemed to lie between ruffing two clubs risking the overruff or finessing the queen of diamonds. Nothing so humdrum had appeal for Kreynes who opted for a third and more spectacular line.
Having won the ace of hearts and the ace of spades, he played three rounds of clubs ruffing the third. Trumps were run and the implication of Westís carefree discards of diamonds was not lost on Kreynes. When East discarded the jack of diamonds on the ultimate trump, Kreynes played a diamond to the ace to drop the king for thirteen tricks.
The remaining hand was against the French.
Game all: South deals
Boulanger for France opened One Heart and after a Swiss type response of Four Diamonds, he settled for Six Hearts just made.
Kreynes and Slavenburg set their sights rather higher and reached a grand slam in a suit not even mentioned by the French.
Slavenburgh won the spade from East with the ace. He ruffed two diamonds in the South hand and subsequently shed the losing spade on the fifth heart.Just one more thunderbolt and a startling example of the power of the 4-4 fit.