Friday, September 19, 2014

Bridge Blog 796: The "Moonraker" hand

First opponents in St. Catharines, Ont., on Friday included a player I hadn’t seen before who declined to enter his number into the Bridgemate gizmo. He said his name was Amir (Amir Farsoud, the results on the club website tell us) and that he was Iranian. Not Persian?, I inquired. No, he said, that’s a name given by the British and smacks of colonialism.
At any rate, Amir and his partner, Norm St. Denis, were adventurous convention hounds and he made it clear that he knew a lot about bridge. His main point was that point count means nothing and, as an example, he cited the “Moonraker” hand (actually the Duke of Cumberland hand), an outrageously distributional deal which author Ian Fleming incorporated into the James Bond novel of that name. The winning hand at 7 Clubs redoubled has only eight high card points. Google it and see. (Bond opened 7 Clubs, but now that I look at the hand, an astute opponent, holding 31 high card points, could make 7 Hearts or 7 Spades if his partner is sharp enough to bid one of the major suits over his double.)

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