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Better Bridge By R. Rosenblum

Daily News – 1 Ago 1977

Bridge belongs to the bidders — but rarely when both partners are aggressive on the same deal.

A number of pairs reached six no-trump with South as declarer when this hand surfaced at the Monte Carlo segment of the Philip Morris European Cup in May 1977. This was the eighth of 10 legs in this year’s competition and it drew a large number of American entries.

Dealer — North. Both sides vulnerable.

West led the 10 of spades

In the bidding given, N/S contracted for 12 tricks when each took an extra bid on the strength of a good five-suit. But how many tricks is such suit worth when partner has no support for it?

We might ask if two clubs is a game force. If so, would a two no-trump rebid show an opening hand and three no-trump extra values? If three no-trump promises an opening and no more, then four no-trump is an overbid. In any case, six no-trump on 31 high-card points with no fit is a stretch.

Declarer won the spade opening in dummy and lost a club finesse to West’s king. She overtook the king of spades return to try a diamond to the jack which held. Now she made a key play, cashing dummy’s ace of hearts. Clubs were run, with a thank you for the 3-3 break, and the high spade cashed. On this tenth trick, West had to discard the king of hearts or unguard diamonds. He chose to throw the heart and declarer scored her slam. West was the victim of a Vienna Coup. Declarer had deliberately established West’s king of hearts, then squeezed him out of It. The beauty of the coup Is -that it operates against the opponent. Had East held four diamonds to the ten and the king of hearts, he would have fallen under the pressure. If declarer does not play off the ace of hearts, the squeeze is inoperable against East who discards after dummy.

Several other declarers bid and made the slam, one was not so lucky, thanks to a fine defensive move. Risking that partner may have held the Jack of clubs when declarer finessed the queen, the Swiss international Mrs. Lads Gorden ducked the first club offering. South now finessed the diamond Jack successfully but could not afford to cash the ace of hearts. Gordon won the next club and continued spades. When declarer ran his clubs and spades Gordon blanked her king of hearts without hesitation.

 A 6
 A K 6

 K 9
 Q 10 9


 Q 10 3

In this ending declarer chose to discard dummy’s six of hearts and so went down a trick.

Dealer — North. Both sides vulnerable.


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