Three Pearls by Geza Ottlik
On 27 January, 2015 At 10:17
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5th WORLD JUNIOR CAMP; 7 – 14 July 2003 Bulletin
Three deals were especially interesting – you can view the deals as a puzzle.They were all created by the father figure of Hungarian Bridge writing, Geza Ottlik. As well as writing one of the most famous books in the literature of the game with Hugh Kelsey, Adventures in Card Play he was also a serious writer of prose. Deal 20 comes from Adventures, Deals 1 and 12 from a set of hands Ottlik devised for the camp of 1977.
South takes a flyer at 4 as a two-way shot, but it turns out that the game has play – with very careful play and a fortunate lie of the cards. On the diamond lead and trump shift required by the conditions of contest (a trump lead defeats the game) declarer must win in HAND.Then comes the K, a spade finesse, diamond ruff, spade finesse, spade ruff and a club to East, for a second trump play. Declarer wins in dummy and leads the fourth spade, squeezing East between his master diamond, two top clubs, and the trump!
West meanly leads A and another. How do you overcome the threat of the diamond ruff? Answer; win the second diamond and overtake the K with A and ruff a spade, then lead a trump. East can win and give his partner the diamond ruff, but West is now endplayed, so the club loser vanishes.
On the lead of the J you should play West for the seven missing spades, and East the K. You need the heart finesse, but have to find a second entry to dummy.The only winning line is to finesse in spades as East pitches a low club, and then to cash the A! East does best to pitch the low diamond; you finesse in hearts, then cash the KQJ – East must duck of course. Then you simply play AKQ and exit with a club, and East must lead a heart to you and concede the rest.
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