Defense Was Ruff, Thought Declarer by Phillip Alder

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This deal, from the first-round Bermuda Bowl match between Argentina and USA1 in Portugal 2005, featured one of the prettiest defenses of the tournament.

Phillip  Alder
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Gadsden Times – Dec 19, 2005

mano agustin

This deal, from the first-round Bermuda Bowl match between Argentina and USA1 in Portugal, featured one of the prettiest defenses of the tournament.

Agustin Madala en Bali 2013

Agustin Madala en Bali 2013

Sitting West was, Agustin Madala, who four years ago in Paris was the youngest ever competitor in this event at 14 years of age. East was Pablo Lambardi, by contrast almost a veteran at 44.

Pablo Lambardi

Pablo Lambardi

Lambardi opened with a natural one club, Eric Rodwell (South) over-called one diamond, Madala responded one spade, and Jeff Meekstroth cue-bid two clubs with his surprisingly strong hand.

South, with promising distribution, mentioned his second suit, and North jumped to four hearts. If West leads his singleton, he would defeat the contract easily. West would win the first round of trumps with his king, put his partner on lead with a spade, and receive a diamond ruff. The heart ace would be the fourth defensive trick.

Eric Rodwell y Jeff Meckstroth

Eric Rodwell y Jeff Meckstroth

But leading declarers first bid suit is rarely and East’s pass over North’s two club cuebid had denied as many as three spades. (With three spades, East would have made a support double.) So West, hoping to give his partner a ruff there, led a low spade.

East winning with the ace and returning the 10. Declarer rose with his spade king, played a diamond to the dummy, and discarded his spade jack on the club ace. South ruffed a club in his hand and led a low heart, but the Argentines made no mistake. West went in with his heart king and led another spade. East ruffed with the heart ace and played back a diamond for his partner to ruff.

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