Bob Hamman is famous as the previous world no 1 in the world of bridge. He has an impressive record including 50 American championships and 10 wins at the Bermuda Bowl, the last came in 2009 when Bob was 71. The last great victory came in 2015 when he at the age of 77 won the Senior Bowl.
The stories of Bobs life at the table impress us all. He formed successful long-lasting partnerships with Bobby Wolf and Paul Soloway, but still the early days as a part of the Dallas Aces is maybe the most impressing and important contribution to the history of bridge.
Bob was born august 6th back in 1938, today he celebrate his 80th birtday.
Today we look back at 1976 when Bob played the Nationals in Vancouver partnering the late Dick Freeman. The defense was referred at The Bridge World.
Bob led a club, declarer winning the ace when Freeman played the nine. A diamond came next to the queen and the ace. Freeman continued with the king of clubs ruffed low by declarer. The king of diamonds is followed by a diamond ruffed with the ace, Freeman followed ten-five.
A spade followed to the queen, Freeman played the six and Bob ducked. The jack of spades is also allowed to hold the trick, Freeman discard the ten of clubs. Bob next won the ten of spades, Freeman discard the five of clubs.
How would you have defended next?
Bob had a pretty good view of the cards, It looked like declarer had 6-1-5-1 distribution. Freemans discard of the ten of clubs had to be suit-preference showing something in hearts. It seemed like the only chance for bringing the contract down was the uppercut in trump.
Bob Hamman did no mistake, he underled the ace of hearts. It was a winner for Big-Bob when the cards looked like this
As you see in the current position at the right Freeman had an entry with the king of hearts. He took the message and continued with the queen of clubs making Bobs eight of spades a winner.
One down gave the boys +200 at the score sheet, and I guess a lot of MPs.
Maybe it was an easy defense for most of the top-players, but every time such positions occurs it seems like a sure 80% score if you find the “easy” defense even in top level tournaments.
Happy 80th birthday Bob, you sure are the best of them all.