Jeff Smith and Ross Taylor won last Saturday's top flight Open Pairs in Toronto, as reported by Linda here:
A hand that Ross Taylor played many years ago had a profound effect on me, even though I wasn't there to see it played and it was never published.
I was in a school cafeteria when my regular partner shows up to give me this hand, saying "Ross Taylor made six hearts on this on a trump lead, guess how?"
He had just seen Ross play the hand in a money game at the university student association. We were both bridge neophytes and watching the experts play the game was one way we tried to get better.
I studied the hand but I kept seeing two club losers. Finally I gave up and said how?
Simple I was told - draw trumps, cash club ace, eliminate spades and diamonds. The opponent with Kx of clubs had not unblocked, so when Ross played a second club, the opponent had to win, and give both a ruff-n-sluff and dollars.
This was magic to me - obvious losers could be made to disappear by sleight of hand. Spurred by Ross's play, I spend many hours reading books on advanced declarer play and the magic secrets that are now so engrained it's as if I always knew them. Even though at the time I should have been studying for my courses, that knowledge no longer remains useful. Instead it turns out the hours seemingly misspend were worthwhile, as almost every day for years I have used the magic of our game, as first shown to me by Ross Taylor.