When a lead is worth 1000 words …

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Agustin Madala tells us why he chose the only lead…to defeat the slam …

Agustin Madala en Bali 2013
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European Champions Cup 2013; 2013-16-11

Allegra and Wroclaw, played one of the A Semifinals, the match ended 106 to 73 for Allegra. Later Allegra defeated in the final Bulgaria’s K1, and for the third time they won the European Champions Cup, considered one of the most difficult tournaments in the world.

In the last set Allegra was represented by Madala-Bocchi; Duboin-Sementa and Wroclaw by: Gawrys-Kwiecien; Starkowski-Golebiowsk.

Till board 6, Wroclaw had managed to recover 12 IMps, the match was 69 a 54…everything could happen, when board 7 arrived. This hand showed that not everything in life is to get to slam:

Duboin y Sementa after agreeing on the diamond suit, asked keycards and arrived to 6.

Starkowski lead the 7.

Sementa played dummy’s 10, North covered with his J, and declarer ducked.

East won the heart return with the A to continue with the successful club finesse with the Q. He returned to his hand with a spade to his A, and played a club to the A to pitch his club loser in the K.

 He continued ruffing a spade in his hand, and ruffed a heart, to play another club. North ruffed with his biggest diamond but Sementa could over ruff with his 9, at last he ruffed another heart loser and claimed scoring +1370.

 At the other table before the hand  before the hand started one of  the BBO commentators wrote: are E/W in some danger if they arrive to 6?

 Slowly the players from Poland, arrived to the diamond slam, but in their way showed a certain weakness in the heart suit.

Agustin Madala had the lead and all who were watching the four hands knew that to fulfill the contract declarer needed two ruffs in dummy … so the only lead to defeat the contract was a trump.

Madala took his time…the seconds passed…but they seemed minutes…during that time the commentators wrote:

– so nice to see people full of optimism in this hard times :)

– on a lucky day you may make 6!d, but not on this deal

–  he can in fact make it – only trump lead will kill slam for sure

– according to competent spcs needs diamond lead to beat

– panem et circenses 😆

– he can prevail with punctual cardplay if say spade is lead

– so is it moment of glory for Madala?

Suddenly … without the BBO VG had moved a single card, the Operator wrote: glory! … and everybody could watch the  2 over the table.

The declarer won the trick with his 9 to continue with the heart finesse…lost over Bocchi’s K, that quickly returned another diamond. East won and made the club finesse, but he coulndt get rid of another loser and scored -100. The hand generated 16 IMPs for Allegra team.

Some days later we phoned Agustin and asked him…Agustin which was the reason for your diamond lead? this is what he told us:

I dismissed the club and spade lead, because of what I had in the suits and the bidding. Heart seemed the opps weak spot but my 9 7 4 made me think that a heart lead would only help declarer to solve the heart layout since the very first card…so my only option was a diamond… How easy, right?!

All the match, card by card:

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