Gold Coast Congress: Pablo on the Spot! by Barry Rigal
A declarer play problem from the first day of the teams. Photo: Bulletin Editors – L to R: Brent Manley, David Stern and Barry Rigal
On 28 February, 2013 At 12:02
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Pablo Lambardi gave me a great declarer play problem from the first day of the teams.
Any decent self-respecting West would lead the K and give you an easy task. Pablo was faced with the lead of the diamond queen, overtaken by East and ruffed. Lambardi knew spades strongly rated to be 6-0; he had four spades to dispose of and no easy placed to put them. He took the heart finesse and then cashed A; one down three to go!
He next played a spade from dummy; East defended strongly by ruffing and returning a trump.
Lambardi now had a choice as to how to get rid of one of his two losing spades; if East had started life with a doubleton club the play was easy, he could win the club ace and lead a spade to the ace and ruff a spade.
But if East had three clubs he would discard when the second club was led, then overruff dummy. Lambardi decided correctly that East rated to 0-3-7-3.
How should he play now?
The answer is simple – when you think of it! Lambardi won the club shift in hand and led a low spade. If West won the trick he could not prevent declarer ruffing his remaining spade with K, and if East ruffed in he would have no trump left to lead any more so declarer could take the ruff in peace and comfort.
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