False Discard by Fernando Lema


Buenos Aires, September 16th;  2014

Fernando Lema
Fernando Lema

From 8 to 13 September in the city of Florianopolis in Brazil, was played the Brazilian Teams Championship. Organized by the FBB in this championship every year you can meet the most select South American bridge players including four bridge WGM (World Grand Master).

This year the final was Chagas team: Gabriel Chagas, Marcelo Branco, Paulinho Brum, Ernesto Muzzio, Carlos Pellegrini y Alejandro Bianchedi vs d’Orsi team: Ernesto D’Orsi, Agustin Madala, Mauricio Figueiredo, João Paulo Campos, Miguel Villas Boas, finalyy Chagas won by 113 a 83.

In the last set of the final, the board 23 was a clear example of the genius of the WGM Marcelo Castello Branco, let us see the hand in question:

Teams; Dealer South; Vulnerable All

  4 3 2
A J 6 5 4 3
9 6
J 6
8 5
A J 8 5 4
8 7 4 3 2
  K Q 9 6
K 9
10 7 3 2
A 10 5
  A J 10 7
Q 10 8 2
K Q 9

After a 1NT opening bid both tables arrived to a 4 contract by South.

Lead: 2

Marcelo Branco, Gabriel Chagas, Ernesto Muzzio, Alejandro Bianchedi, Carlos Pellegrini y Paulo Brum
Marcelo Branco, Gabriel Chagas,
Ernesto Muzzio, Alejandro Bianchedi,
Carlos Pellegrini y Paulo Brum

In both tables the lead was a small club.

 In the Open, East/West were respectively Alejandro Bianchedi and Ernesto Muzzio.

Alejandro won the lead with his A and returned a diamond, leaving declarer with no hope. Figueiredo in North had to lose one trick in each suit for one down.

Marcelo Castello Branco
Marcelo Castello Branco

In the other table playing in E/W for  d’Orsi’s team were J. P. Campos and Miguel Villas Boas, and the declarer sitting South was Marcelo Castello Branco.

Miguel won the lead with his A and continued with the K, South covered with the A. Now declarer continued with the trump finesse, Miguel played his K and his Q…

South played his J! with the intention to induce the defender to think that his distribution was different from the one he really had.

Here is how Marcelo Branco described what were his thoughts while playing the hand:

» I played the J over the Q as an extreme measure, trying to create a false picture about the distribution of my hand. I wanted the defender to think my hand was a 2443 and not (as indeed it was): 4423.
If my hand was 2443 there would be no urgency for him to play diamonds because I would not have a way to through 2 diamonds.  The player in East certainly knew that I had exactly 3 cards of clubs, as they played 3rd and 5th leads against suit contracts.
In the first spade trick: East’s K; A from my hand, I saw the player in West throwing the 8, to tell his partner he had no spade interest, at that moment it was clear for me that he didnt have the 9, he would have played that nine to reinforce his discouraging attitude.
Thus, assuming that West had not the 9 playing the J over the queen was free. Because the tenace: 10-7 was equivalent to: J-10. This was all what I thought.»
East fell into the trap and after playing his Q he continued with a club to South’s K, the final was really elegante, Q eliminating the remaining trump, Q to pitch a diamond from dummy, a trump to the A and a spade to the 7, finally Marcelo played the 10 obliterating the last diamond from dummy.
Obrigado Maestro!!!