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In Memoriam: Laurie Kranyak

laurie_solo_medium We are sad to report that Laurie Kranyak passed away on October 19th, 2011. She was a wonderful woman that had a true fighting spirit, both at and away from the bridge table. She eventually succumbed to cancer after enduring a long battle over the past 3+ years. Last fall at the World Championships, Laurie and her son John were leading the World Mixed Pairs after 2 qualifying sessions, when she had to withdraw to have a golf-ball sized tumor removed from her spine. After extensive treatment and surgery she battled back and placed second in the Platinum Pairs at the Louisville NABC this spring with her husband Ken.

This hand was submitted to us by Joe Grue as a fond memory of an amazing hand when he partnered Laurie 10 years ago at the Lancaster Regional (with John Kranyak and Ken Kranyak at the other table) :

West
Kxxxx
xxx
Qxxxx
Joe
AQ10xxx
J
AKJxxx
East
K109xxxxx
Jx
xx
x
Laurie
AQJxx
AKQ10xxx
x
W
N
E
S
 
1
P
1
2
3N
P
4
P
5
P
7
P
P
P
D
7 South
NS: 0 EW: 0

Joe was sure Laurie had a solid diamond suit for her jump to 3NT, and backed his judgement by jumping to 7.

Laurie's LHO led a heart, she stuck in the 10, covered by the J and trumped. Laurie ruffed a spade, seeing LHO show out. She then played the A and ruffed a heart, seeing her RHO show out. At this point she promptly claimed on a double squeeze! (It comes down to a 3-card ending when Declarer runs diamonds. Declarer would have the Q and AKJ in dummy when playing the last trump. On the last trump, LHO must keep the K allowing declarer to pitch the Q. RHO must keep the K, so neither opponent can keep 3 clubs.)

To make the story even better, at the other table Mike Passell and Michael Seamon were quite pleased that they reached 6 and scored up 1370. Not good enough with Laurie at the other table! Smile

Our condolences to John, Ken, and the rest of the family. Laurie will be missed.

laurie_big

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