Bridge World Championships: a spectacular defence; look at this remarkable play from the match between Italy and Bulgaria.
One of the most spectacular defences in the World Championships in the Netherlands was found at two separate tables by two of the game’s great players. East-West vulnerable, dealer East.
This was the bidding in the match between Italy and Bulgaria.
North led the queen of hearts to West’s ace, and declarer played a low club to the king in dummy. The same start occurred in the match between the US and Australia in the Seniors series, and the question was what the South players – Giorgio Duboin and Bobby Wolff – should do now. What both of them did was to win with the ace of clubs and think for a long time.
Then they led a low diamond from the doubleton queen around to the mighty suit exposed in the dummy. North won with the ace of diamonds and returned the suit, but the declarers both went up with the king and dropped South’s queen. It did them not the slightest good, since when they next led a trump to the jack and queen, North played a third round of diamonds. South ruffed this with the king of spades, so that North’s nine was promoted to the fourth trick for the defenders.
Was this defence necessary? If South ducked the first round of clubs, declarer would lose a spade finesse to North’s queen and the defenders could play two more rounds of clubs to obtain a ruff. But of course, before leading the spade from dummy declarer would discard a club on the king of hearts and be in a position to ruff the third round of clubs himself. Either the defence found at the table or the alternative of ducking the club would succeed but only because North had the nine of spades. No doubt Antonio Sementa, Duboin’s partner, explained that he would never have doubled with only Q86 in spades rather than Q96.