Card Perfect Defense by Phillip Alder

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Giorgio Belladonna died of lung cancer in his home city of Rome on Friday, May 12 1995. As we won’t be seeing any more great play from the Italian superstar, I want to show you one of his best ever defensive performances.

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Ludington Daily News – 10 Jul 1995

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Kantar, Garozzo, Aisemberg, Belladonna

Kantar, Garozzo, Aisemberg, Belladonna

Giorgio Belladonna died of lung cancer in his home city of Rome on Friday, May 12 1995. As we won’t be seeing any more great play from the Italian superstar, I want to show you one of his best ever defensive performances.

The deal occurred during Italy’s march to the 1967 European Championship in Dublin. (Belladonna: Won 10 European titles.) The penalty double of two clubs was aggressive, but at least Belladonna wasn’t doubling South into game.

After winning the first trick with the Q, Belladonna, wanting to reach his partner’s hand, switched to the 3. Knowing from the low card that his partner had an honor in the suit, East put up his K. Then he cashed the A and K, on which Belladonna discarded the 9 and A!

With four tricks in, the defense needed two trump tricks. East continued with a low diamond, South ruffing with the club nine. Instead of overruffing, Belladonna discarded a low spade. Now South couldn’t avoid losing two club tricks.

If he led a low trump toward dummy’s jack, West would go in with the queen and return a spade, stranding declarer in the dummy. Note that if Belladonna either hadn’t discarded his diamonds or had overruffed with the club queen, declarer would have made his contract.

Afterwards, with a wide grin on his face, Belladonna probably said, “I wouldn’t have doubled without the club eight.” The main point, though, is that it is usually right not to overruff with a trump trick that cannot run away; keep your trump holding intact.

Esta entrada también está disponible en: Spanish

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