A Two-way Endplay By Krzysztof Jassem

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The 1999 European Championship was coming to its end when I happened to witness one of the most showy declarer plays of my life…

By Ana Roth
On 29 April, 2015 At 10:07

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K. Jassem
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Source: IBPA Bulletins  – Krzysztof Jassem: Winner of the 6th EUROPEAN OPEN BRIDGE CHAMPIONSHIPS Ostend 2013 – and winner of the 14th REDBULL WORLD BRIDGE SERIES
Sanya 2014 – Open Teams

Piotr Tuszynski

Piotr Tuszynski

The 1999 European Championship was coming to its end when I happened to witness one of the most showy declarer plays of my life. I am not sure if the manoeuvre carried out by my partner, Piotr Tuszynski, already has a name in bridge literature but just in case it has not, I propose calling it a “two-way endplay”. The board was played in Round 35 of the Europeans and our opponents were a young Finnish pair (Vihtila was the name of one of our opponents).Mano Polonia

The opening lead was the clubK. At face value, it looks that declarer should have no problem in making 10 tricks: six spades, two diamonds and two aces. But suppose that declarer plays the clubA and tries to get back to hand. If he plays a club, he is over-ruffed, if he plays a diamond he must concede an ace, a diamond ruff, a heart and a trump promotion. Declarer may try to cash clubA discarding a heart and another club discarding another heart but this will not help him avoid a diamond ruff together with the trump promotion.

The only winning line at the first trick is to play low from dummy and ruff in hand. When that task was completed successfully by Tuszynski, he finessed the spadeJ, cashed the spadeK and only then played a diamond to the king. South had to win (otherwise Tuszynski would draw the remaining trump and reach clubA with the heart ace), and did his best by attacking the heart entry to dummy before declarer had had a chance to draw the last trump.

Tuszynski won, and again resisted the temptation of cashing the clubA. Instead he played a diamond back to hand in order to draw South’s last trump. At this moment the clubA was “cold” in dummy and the number of declarer’s tricks was reduced to nine. Tuszynski drew all his remaining trumps coming to the following ending:Mano Polonia Final

Then Tuszynski exited with heart7 and watched carefully the order of the heart honours played by the opponents. As it happened, North took the tenth trick (dummy discarding the clubJ) and South took the eleventh.

At that time my hand moved automatically to the diamond suit6. “No my dear dummy partner”, said Tuszynski, “we definitely need both diamonds in the dummy. Please, remove the ace of clubs”. Indeed, the diamond suit8 proved crucial in endplaying South. Had North taken the eleventh trick, however, both diamonds would have been no longer necessary and the crucial lacking trick would have been taken by the clubA.

IBPA Editor: Declarer made his discard from dummy after he knew South was winning trick eleven. If South had won trick ten, dummy’s discard comes before an unobservant declarer sees who is winning trick 11. Piotr, of course, would still have got it right, but another declarer might err if the pips were smaller.

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