An Eric Rodwell Famous Hand
This deal occurred in the final of the 1992 World Team Olympiad, which saw France defeat the United States in a 96-deal match.
The Hour – Apr 25, 2004
This deal occurred in the final of the 1992 World Team Olympiad, which saw France defeat the United States in a 96-deal match. Neither side gained on the deal, but Eric Rodwell of the United States was sorely tested when the French found the best defense against his four heart contract. The game was reached after Jeff Meckstroth, North, had opened the bidding with one diamond, showing fewer than 16 points.
Opening lead: 6 of clubs
West, Paul Chemla, led his singleton club, and Rodwell took East’s ten with the ace. Declarer carefully led the six of hearts, covered by the queen and ace. Dummy’s jack of hearts was then led, and Rodwell deposited the eight on the jack as West won with the king. Chemla returned a spade to East’s ace, ruffed the club return with the seven and then exited with a diamond in this position:
It was at this point that Rodwell’s advance planning paid off. Had he not preserved the heart deuce in his hand, he would have had no choice but to play low from dummy on the diamond return, and when East produced the king, the contract would have gone down one.
As it was though, Rodwell was now able to put up dummy’s diamond ace and lead a club to the king, unblocking the suit. The heart deuce was then led to dummy’s four, and the club queen was cashed, Rodwell discarding the diamond queen to make his game.
At the other table, the French declarer had no problem making the same contract after the U.S. West led a spade to his partner’s ace at trick one.
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