Barnet Shenkin

Scotland On Sunday by Ian Crorie prev/next

Barnet Shenkin and Michael Rosenberg are arguably the best players Scotland has ever produced. Michael has lived in the USA since 1978; Barnet stayed in Scotland until 1998, when he and his wife Maggie moved to Florida. Barnet has an enviable record: almost 50 matches for Scotland, British caps with four different partners, seven Scottish Cups, three Gold Cups and victories in the Sunday Times pairs. Now he has written his first book, Playing With the Bridge Legends, about his 30 years of playing at the highest levels of world bridge.

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

The book is full of interesting stories and hands to compliment them. Many are presented in a quiz format, where you are given a problem to work out with the solution on a following page. A surprising number of them are ones that Barnet got wrong at the table; unlike some writers his love of the game is stronger than his ego. My favourite section deals with his Gold Cup victory in 1982, when in the semi-final the Scottish team of Shenkin, Coyle, Haase, Cuthbertson and Goldberg were 51 IMPs down with eight boards to play. An impossible situation you might think, yet the last eight boards produced wild hands and they put on 59 IMPS to win by eight. This was board 60 from, that amazing set.

West led a diamond so George Cuthbertson won the Ace and finessed the ten of hearts. The Queen of clubs was led, covered by the King and Ace but East ruffed and returned a diamond. Cuthbertson ruffed with the six of trumps and the miracle happened when West was unable to overruff. Now two top spades and a spade ruffed with the Ace of trumps were followed by a trump to the knave and the King of trumps. 12 IMPs when the contract at the other table was 3NT.

Playing with the Bridge Legends, Chess and Bridge Ltd, £14.99, tel: 0207 388 2404