A Bridge Phantasmagoria




The most nail-biting finish ever in a Camrose match, occurred away back in the 1970’s in the last match of the series between England and Scotland. As a result of previous matches against Wales and Northern Ireland, Scotland enjoyed a lead of seven Victory points, leaving England the task of winning by 22-14 to recapture the Camrose.

At that time only 12 VPs were awarded to each of the three sessions. The first session was drawn 6-6 and England took the second 7-5, so they had to win the final session 9-3.

After 18 boards of the last match, Scotland led by 3 IMPs and then came this piece of Reese virtuosity.

East-West game: South deals.


S Q64
H K65
D K10942
C 107


H AQ84
D A7
C AQJ654


S K9752
H 92
D J86
C K92


S J1083
H J1073
D Q53
C 83


For Scotland, Brock and Goldberg reached Five Clubs and made eleven tricks when the finesse of the queen of hearts lost to the king.

Reese opened One Club and Willie Coyle overcalled One Diamond, which consumed no bidding space and proved to be a help rather than a hindrance to Reese who climbed all the way to Six Clubs.

A diamond lead drew the ace but Reese cashed the ace of spades and got to dummy with the club king to take a diamond discard on the king of spades. Next came the two of hearts. As the odds were heavily in favour of North having the king of hearts for his overcall, Reese inserted the eight when South played small. This pulled the king and the slam was in. Had Silverstone at South inserted the ten the slam would have failed. At least that was what the spectators thought…

The fact is that declarer could still have ducked this and the ace of hearts and a heart ruff brings down the king.

Again the late Terence Reese garnered points on this one.

Love all: South deals.


S 1075
H J65
D 5
C AKJ1052


H KQ982
D A863
C 8


S A932
H A743
D 4
C 9643


S Q64
H 10
D KQJ10972
C Q7


In both rooms, South opened Three Diamonds. Goldberg passed with the West cards and Flint made seven tricks for a loss of 100 points. Reese judged that his partner had to be short in diamonds and needing points gambled an overcall of Three Hearts. Sheehan had no trouble in raising to game and with the favourable spade lay-out, eleven tricks were taken for a gain of 10 IMPs

Came the very last hand and the spectators were half way out of their seats.

England led by 12 IMPs but required 3 more to win back the Camrose Trophy. East dealt at love all and in both rooms, South opened the Multi Two Diamonds, showing a weak major, 19/20 balanced or an eight tricker in a minor. West passed and you as North hold these cards:


S AJ86
H 9
D AK102
C K1096


The destiny of the Camrose is in your hands, so make your bid before looking at the full hand which was as follows:


S AJ86
H 9
D AK102
C K1096


S KQ42
H K107
D J965
C 72


S 1093
H Q82
D Q743


S 75
H AJ6543
D 8
C J543


Coyle responded Two No-trump and passed Three Hearts from partner. Terence Reese and Sheehan duly found their club ruff to set the contract by one trick. In the other room, Rose judged that ten tricks in a heart contract would be hard going and conservatively responded Two Hearts, which was passed out. The Scots found their club ruff but could not defeat the contract. The Camrose Trophy had been lost to England by just one Victory Point!


by Carl Dickel