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March 26th 2014: No. 3 seed Diamond toppled in Vanderbilt; The squad captained by John Diamond is out of the Vanderbilt Knockout Teams after being trounced by the Paul Fireman squad. Diamond was playing four-handed with Brian Platnick, Eric Greco and Geoff Hampson. Fireman took the opening set 43-9 and built on the lead throughout the match, winning 176-72. Fireman’s team is Gavin Wolpert, John Kranyak, Vince Demuy, John Hurd and Joel Wooldridge.
On 22 September 1939, William McKenney; Secretary of the American Contract Bridge League wrote in an article for the The Pittsburgh Press: FREAK distribution is the bugaboo of every bridge player. While we all like to hold aces and kings, there are times when too many of them; is the cause of our downfall. When you hold an especially powerful hand with a long suit and a void/voids in another suit/s, take into consideration that the 0pponents may hold similar hands.
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Goulash Time: Here is one of the boards that helped Fireman success.
Hampson decided to open his hand with 1 and Demuy compited with 1. Greco named his hearts with a 2 bid and Kranyak informed his partner about his weak 4 cards support hand. Hampson continued showing his self sufficient diamond suit at the game level. But Demuy, watching his diamond void compited to 5. Greco Doubled but Hampson holding a especially freak hand with two voids, took into consideration that the 0pponents should hold similar hands and prefered to play 6. Now was double time for Demuy. Declarer made 11 tricks and went one down.
At the other table, Gavin Wolpert observing his freaky hand and:
1) knowing his opps should be watching similar distributions but in the majors suits
2) that in any case he would arrive to the six level
He decided to take the short cut and opened his hand with a 6 bid. This gave him the advantage of the first move, and the enemy was left with a guess move…
Platnick, in the dark, decided to compite with 6, and now was double time for Wolpert. Declarer made 10 tricks for two down.
The hand produced, 11 IMPs to the Fireman squad.