The Southeast Missourian – May 14, 1975
Today’s hand was played by Giorgio Belladonna in a world’s championship match.
Belladonna reached a four-spade contract by the simple process of bidding it as dealer.
West opened the king of clubs. Giorgio played dummy’s ace. So far he had done nothing unusual. Now look at his next play!
He led the four of hearts from dummy and insured his contract against any combination of clubs, adverse hearts and spades. Just see how nicely the play works. If East wins the trick he must use either the ace or queen of hearts to do so.
After that play there will be no way for the defense to take more than a total of two hearts and one trump.
If West wins the trick and holds all three trumps he can lead one. Declarer wins and leads a second heart.
If West leads a second trump the defense will grab three heart tricks but West’s king of trumps will be picked up by South’s ace.
Belladonna’s play is the sort of play other experts find when they are shown all the cards. He made it under the strain of top competition, which all goes to show that if he isn’t the best player in the world it is most unlikely that anyone is better.