Bridge

    Pictures from the European Championships of 1963.

    Pictures from the European Championships in Baden-Baden 1963. The first is a clip from
    Bridge Magazine. Note that smoking was not prohibited in those days (Gray's obligatory
    pipe!). Even watchers were allowed to smoke. Like the Sharples twin brothers who, totally
    absorbed by the game were smoking ceaselessly, the ashes dropping on the floor. It should
    be added that the players were not bothered by smoke, since the casino localities were well
    air conditioned. Which also was necessary because of the outside heat.



     From a different angle we see, sitting between me and Gray ...


    ... Swedish supporters Marianne Kock, bidding box inventor Gösta Nordenson (also with
    toothache?) and Olle Westermark, the Swedish captain. Reporter Tore Sandgren, though
    in fact very tall, is almost totally concealed behind me. After the Swedish half-time lead,
    Great Britain chose to top their team with Reese-Schapiro and Konstam-Gray. The British
    team went on to win this championship by 100 victory points out of 102 possible. Sundelin
    and I were praised, especially by Tore Sandgren (who liked to call himself "Mister Evil").
    An extract from Bridgetidningen No 7, September 1, 1963, showing a few instructive deals
    together with a drawing, which I believe is made by Rit-Ola, from a booklet BRIDGE 1965
    published by SBF. Click on the image to enlarge it, if you have a big screen. (F5 = Refresh)

    Do we always play correctly? Nobody does. I can't constrict a deal versus Gray and Konstam.
    As defender I was going to lead through the declarer (Gray) and was pondering upon leading
    a double void suit, when Gray hurried me on, making me loose my concentration and thereby
    lead another suit instead of the beating one. A costly mistake.

    Also did our opponents make mistakes. "This will cost, this will cost",  Gray muttered after
    Konstam's pass on Gray's one level response, which in that way became the final bid as also
    we passed it out. As Gray feared, this bidding cost them a game bonus. Konstam's mistake
    partly caused by his partner's initial pass.

    Versus France we played in the Rama against Desrousseaux-Théron and took the lead with
    40-0. "And it's not tennis", the Rama commentator joked. The battle ended draw (deuce?).
    This tournament appeared during my most intensive bridge period, when I shared apartment
    with Sundelin for three years. The qualifications were divided in two steps. First locally, then
    in a 4 days final in Stockholm. I played three days with Sundelin and one with Hans Göthe,
    substituting the absent Sundelin (for marriage, not his own though), winning the open contest.
    When I left Stockholm after my own marriage, Sven-Olov Flodqvist overtook my bed, some
    time later forming a bridge partnership for 15 years with Sundelin. A collaboration that was
    going to include two European Championship victories for teams, in 1977 and 1987. These
    teams also including Göthe. Based on his long and succesful international career, Sundelin
    became well deserved inducted to the EBL Hall of Fame in 2020.


    10 selected bridge articles by Lars Backström:

    Svensk Bridge was a shortlived (5 years) magazine. Managing editor: Sven Welith.

    Bridge Nytt was an even more shortlived magazine. Managing editor: Mats Nilsland.

    Bridgetidningen, a magazine founded in 1939. Managing editor: Magnus Lindkvist.

    Bridge is the Swedish Bridge Federation's official publication since 1969.

  • Spilld mjölk. Svensk Bridge no 3, 1966.
  • Signaturen Bo. Svensk Bridge no 5, 1966.
  • Sundsvallsronden 1966. Svensk Bridge no 1, 1967.
  • Om att testa ditt spel. Bridge Nytt no 10-11, 1969. English version, 2004:
    About testing your play. *)
     ------------
  • Stjärnfall. ("Shooting-stars"). Bridgetidningen no 1, 1995.
  • Händelser vid Senior-EM på Malta. Bridgetidningen no 6, 1999.
  • BRONS i Seniorklassen vid OS-2000. Bridge no 5, 2000.
  • Det bästa av Gray är det bästa av bridge. Bridgetidningen no 2, 2003.
  • Lätt UD och försenad 2-färgsvisning. Bridgetidningen no 4, 2006.
  • Landsvägen. ("The main road"). Bridgetidningen no 3, 2007.
   *) This article presents a counter-analysis of a deal, that was first analysed by Marshall Miles in
        the November, 1966, edition of the American magazine Bridge World, titled Test your play.
        I made the translation to English before our competition versus USA and Marshall Miles
        during the 2004 Bridge Olympic Championships in Istanbul.

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