Katie Thorpe started playing bridge while studying at McMaster university, and was introduced to duplicate bridge in 1970.

Between 1984 and 2016 she won the Canadian Women Teams Championship (CWTC) ten times, the 1990 Canadian Open Pairs Championship (COPC), and the 2015 Canadian Senior Teams Championship (CSTC).

In North American competition she won the 1991 Mixed Board-A-Match Teams and was second in the 2001 Wagar Women Knockout Teams.

Thorpe represented Canada twelve times in World Championship team events, winning a silver medal in the 2000 Women Teams Olympiad, and two bronze medals (1988 Women Teams Olympiad and 1989 Venice Cup).

She served on the board of the Canadian Bridge Federation from 1987 to 1993 and as president 1990 – 1991.

The following deal was the last board in the 2015 CSTC final. At the time Thorpe’s team was trailing by 11 IMPs. Not only did her team win the championship as a result of her partnership’s efforts on this deal, but it also earned Katie and her partner, Marty Kirr, the 2015 International Bridge Press Association (IBPA) “Yeh Brothers Best Bid Deal of the Year” award.

Dealer East. EW Vul.

♠ 1076
J65
109542
♣ 104

♠ A8                                              ♠ KQ53
A982                                          43
AKJ7                                          Q186
♣ QJ7                                           ♣ AK32

♠ J942
KQ107
3
♣ 9865

West          North          East          South
Kirr                                Thorpe
—               —                 1♣            Pass
1               Pass            1♠1           Pass
22             Pass             33          Pass
34             Pass             3♠5          Pass
4NT6          Pass             5♣7          Pass
58             Pass             6♣9         Pass
7♣10           All Pass

1.   Promises at least 4 clubs
2.   Fourth suit forcing
3.   Natural. Usually 3 card support unless 4-1-4-4 or 4-0-4-5.
4.   Heart values
5.   Spade concentration
6.   RCKB for diamonds
7.   1 or 4 key cards
8.   Queen ask
9.   Queen of diamonds and king of clubs
10. Choice of grand slams

Kirr reasoned that Thorpe’s 3♠ bid, offering him to play 3NT from his side, must contain the king-queen of the suit, otherwise with only one stopper in the suit she would have bid 3NT herself after he’d shown heart values. When Thorpe showed the queen of diamonds, Kirr visualized that any possible losing heart (if Thorpe was 4-2-3-4 instead of 4-1-3-5) can be discarded on the fourth diamond, while a spade ruff in Kirr’s hand would provide the thirteenth trick. He thus offered seven clubs as a contract expecting that Thorpe would convert to seven diamonds if she held four diamonds.

When the opponents at the other table stopped in 6NT Thorpe’s team gained 12 IMPs to win the match by only 1 IMP in a dramatic fashion.