In 1950 a pair of ladies from Perth Bridge Club, Freda Hayes and Ann Weir, won the fifth Scottish National Pairs, the first time a major event was won by a pair from outwith the two main Districts, East and West.
Ann was wont to attribute her success to luck – all the international pairs expected easy boards against the unknowns, and presented them with a series of good scores. 63 years later Ann’s daughter (your correspondent) finally emulated her achievement, thanks to the efforts of a fine partner, David Liggat, and an equally large slice of luck. Unlucky runners-up, just three points behind, were Brian Short and Alan Goodman.
This board epitomises the kind of luck required. East took the opportunity to introduce spades at her second turn, and West bid 2NT to show a good four-card raise. This was forcing to 3S, so when East bid 3S she showed a minimum, but West’s aces justified one more shot. South led the king of diamonds, and declarer was pleased to see that her contract had play: all that was needed was to avoid losing two clubs. She played a round of spades, ducked by South, then ace and another heart to confirm that suit was 4-4. South played ace and another spade, and declarer now knew that his original distribution was 3-4-4-2. His doubleton club was likely to be the king for his double, so she played ace of clubs and ducked a club to the king to make her game.