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Bridge ignores race and religion

Bridge ignores race and religion

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There have been numerous examples throughout history of world leaders forcing their subjects to wage wars that they had no desire to fight, often on the basis of religion.

Bridge players, though, do not care about the race or religion of an opponent; they only want to know about the bidding and carding methods that they employ.

Bridge featured the first international match in any sport between Egypt and Israel. It took place during the 1980 World Team Olympiad in Valkenburg, the Netherlands. 

Although Israel won narrowly, Egypt gained on this deal from the historic encounter.

At both tables, the defense against three no-trump began with a spade to East's ace and a spade to South's king. For Israel, Julian Frydrich played a heart, West winning with his king and clearing the spades. In search of his ninth trick, declarer tried the club finesse and went down two.

Samih Khalil from Cairo played as if he could see through the backs of the cards. He took two diamond tricks ending in the dummy, cashed the spade queen, then played off his other three diamond winners, bringing everyone down to five cards. When West kept the spade 10, the heart ace-king and the club king-jack, Samih exited with a heart. West was endplayed, forced to lead a club into declarer's ace-queen at trick 12.

I know Samih well, having coached the Egyptian world championship team in 1989. If West had discarded two clubs, blanking his king, I'm confident Samih would have gotten it right, cashing the club ace.

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