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Diana Gordon PDF Print E-mail
Diana Gordon, Canada’s only World Grand Master,  was the premier female player in Canada for about 30 years. Her record of playing in seven straight Olympiad Women’s Teams may never be broken. Diana has a complete set of medals from World Championship play: gold from the 1982 World Mixed Pairs; silver from the 2000 Olympiad Women’s Teams; and bronze from the 1989 Venice Cup and 1996 Olympiad Women’s Teams. With regular partner Sharyn Reus, Gordon also won the Canadian Open Pairs Championship in 1982 – they remain the only women’s pair to have done so. For about thirty years, Diana never lost a knockout match in the Canadian Women’s Team Championship (not to mention winning it 15 times!) – she almost performed the same feat in the CNTC, but lost in the final in 1994 – the best result ever by a women’s team in the event. Other top tens in World Championships came in the Women’s Pairs, Mixed Pairs and Women’s Teams. Diana also won the North American Women’s Swiss Teams in 1985.

Here is Diana at the top of her game in Rhodes, at the 1996 Olympiad. Canada was playing India, always a tough match for us, whether in the Open or the Women’s Teams.

Playing ace from ace-king with an even number of cards in the suit, Gordon led the heart ace, receiving an upside-down count signal of the eight from Reus. Trick two was a problem - it looked like the defence needed two diamonds and a club to beat four spades. That would require West to hold either the diamond queen or the club king in most instances. Gordon knew that Reus could not have both those cards as she’d have bid over one heart with her three-card support – they bid aggressively over opening bids, especially with support.

Gordon solved the problem neatly by leading a low club at trick two – Reus gave her the three, showing an even number, which needed to be four for the defence to have a chance. Declarer won the king, drew trumps and led her second club. Diana won the ace and exited with the king of hearts. Declarer could ruff that but had to lose two diamonds for one off. The game was made at most tables in both the Open and Women’s events.