Barnet Shenkin

The New York Times by Alan Truscott prev

Deals and Gossip From a Transplanted Scot

A new book, “Playing With the Bridge Legends” by Barnet Shenkin, is an entertaining mixture of great bridge deals and gossip about the world's best players.

Shenkin, 50, is a Scotsman who now lives In Florida. His distinguished career includes playing with and against Michael Rosenberg, Zia Mahmood, Paul Cherrila and the Italian Blue Team. The book, which includes many deals in problem form, is available from Baron Barclay Bridge Supplies, (800) 274-2221, for $20.95 including shipping.

When Shenkin was, 26 and Rosen berg 22 they won the Sunday Times competition in London, besting many of the greatest in the game. They won it again four years later, putting their hometown, Glasgow, firmly on the world bridge map.

Dlr: North
Vul: Both
N ♠A K 6 4
♥A 3
♦8 7
♣A Q 10 7 6
W ♠J 9 3
♥Q 10 8 5
♦A Q 9 4
♣K 8
 E ♠7 5
♥9 7 4 2
♦K 10 6 2
♣J 5 4
 S ♠Q 10 8 2
♥K J 6
♦J 5 3
♣9 3 2
1♣Pass 1♠Pass

On the diagramed deal from the Sunday Times event, played in a year they did not win, they defended. A simple auction led to four spades, which was made without trouble at other tables. South can draw trumps and work on clubs. His only losers are one club and two diamonds.

But Shenkin made an imaginative lead. With clubs marked on his left, he tried the effect of putting the club eight on the table. This convinced South that the missing club honors were on his right, so he put up the ace and attempted to take three heart tricks. He cashed the ace and finessed the jack, losing to the queen. He was now in danger of going down two, for West could have cashed the diamond ace and the club king. Then a diamond to East's king permit a club ruff. But Shenkin was not sure of the position and returned a trump.

This gave South a chance. He could have drawn trumps ending in his hand, cashed the heart king for a diamond discard and led a club. But he was still convinced that the club honors were on his right.

Not touching trumps, he won in his hand, took the diamond discard on the heart king and led a club. He was shocked when Shenkin produced the club king, underfed the diamond ace and scored a club ruff to defeat the game.

West led the club eight.