A Famous Hand by Steve Becker

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Play like this are certainly not everyday occurrences, but they tend to confirm that there’s always something new to learn about this wonderful game called bridge.

USBC 2014 122
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The Hour – Mar 16, 1987

There is no unanimity about who is the best player in the world, but there’s also no doubt that one of its leading candidates for this honor is Bob Hamman of Dallas, Texas. His long string of successes in national and world bridge championships is truly amazing and here is an extraordinary hand from a recent tournament that demonstrates his superb defensive skill.aa

South Dealer; Both Sides Vulnerable

Lead: spade7

Hamman was East and had doubled five diamonds after the sequence shown. His partner Bobby Wolff led the spade seven and declarer ruffed Hamman’s jack. South then played the ace and another club, trumping with dummy’s eight —whereupon Hamman discarded a heart!

You’d have to search the universe far and wide to find anyone else who wouldn’t have overruffed at that point.

But Hamman knew exactly what he was doing. Had he won the trick, it’s certain that declarer would have gone down only one  — 200 points. South would have trumped the spade return, ruffed a club with the jack, cashed the A-K of trumps and then conceded a club trick to the king.

But Hammn realized that on the bidding South very likely had 0.1.5.7 distribution and that he could cause declarer endless aggravation by allowing the trump eight to win trick three.

And that was precisely what declarer ran into. He next led a heart from dummy, won by East’s king, and Hamman returned a low spade. South ruffed, reducing his trump holding to the bare A-K-Q, and now could do no better than ruff one of his remaining five clubs with dummy’s Jack.

After that, the only additional tricks declarer could score were his AKQ of trumps, so he wound up winning five trump tricks in his hand, two trump tricks in dummy and the ace of clubs. As a result of Hamman’s dramatic play, the contract went down three — 800 points.

Play like this are certainly not everyday occurrences, but they tend to confirm that there’s always something new to learn about this wonderful game called bridge.

Esta entrada también está disponible en: Spanish

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