Sometimes in this job you have the privilege to test-drive a truly great machine: magnificent pedigree, double-barrelled cylinders providing unsurpassed power to a wonderfully constructed poorbridge engine. I mean, the potential acceleration from good score to bad score in this vehicle is so high that we can't be sure if it can be measured in m/s2! So it was with a sense of sadness bordering on melancholy that I received the news that the production team at poorbridge.com had asked James Ewington to take the GS-890 out for a spin in Edinburgh, rather than me. Even more irritating was the realisation on Saturday night that James had really put the GS-890 through its paces, was "truly impressed with its phenomenal acceleration" but would probably "need some time to recover". I thus had to write the PBOTW myself!
After some testing that can, no doubt, be read on other (inferior) bridge-related humour websites, the GS-890 was pushed to its full potential — and it didn't disappoint. Here is the hand in question:
The auction was going so well! A tight competitive auction had got as far as 2, with an out-gunned North-South getting to a good spot which left East-West with a tricky decision. Clearly 3 will make and 4 might (history doesn't record their hands), but the pair, lacking experience, might well have let the matter rest there.
But we were not to underestimate the power of the GS-890. Its fearless engineering: a powerful engine coupled — apparently — with no brakes, felt that a balanced 9 losing trick 7 count wasn't worth a game invite so much as a jump to 4! Low doubleton in hearts and all! This looks like one that is about to take a tumble at the devil's bend, shooting off like a bat out of hell, Crash! Boom! Bang! [That's enough weak rock music references — Ed], but actually it might get out for -100 or -300. Well that's not quite the story we have to tell. You see West, for some reason, led a diamond...
For this to be a jammy-contract-that-happens-to-make story, trumps need to be 3-3 with the king onside, and the GS-890 wasted no time in grasping at the possible big plus score by winning the lead in dummy. But then someone put his foot down on the throttle and wow! A low spade was played from dummy to the Ace and then a low one back, losing to East's King. The defence didn't waste a second opportunity, and cashed three clubs and the heart for +300 points. And yes, trumps were 3-3.
So there you have it: the GS-890 manages to accelerate from +590 to -300 in a single hand, and it is from this that it gets its name.