St. Petersburg Times – Sep 25, 1970

Jan Wohlin
Jan Wohlin

«I saw It happen with my own eyes.» Jan Wohlin told me, as we sipped a drink in Stockholm a few months ago.

«Must say that it shocked me.» I gave him my best professional look (just a bit livelier than a dead mackerel), and he came clean: «I really expected him to flub it. So few of the modern experts can really play the cards!»w5

Declarer won the first trick with the ace of clubs, Wohlin told me. And next South led out the ace and king of hearts.

“And then?»

“Then there was a long pause, and he looked at me out of the comer of one eye» Woldin related. «I have a very kind heart,» he continued, ignoring my snort… “so I got up and walked away (walked away from the table).»

Of course South went down one. He tried to run the diamonds but East ruffed the third diamond and led the queen of spades before South could get any discards. The defense got three spade tricks, and that was that.

Missed Two Plays

South, a well-known European expert, missed two plays for his contract. To begin with he should have played the queen of clubs from the dummy at the first trick. This apparently silly play would draw East’s king, and South would win with the ace. If East got the lead prematurely, he might return a club on the assumption that South had a club trick or two to lose.

But the next play was far more important. South should lead a diamond to dummy’s queen in order to lead the first trump from dummy. East would be forced to play low, and South would put in the nine to make West win the trick.

No matter what West returned, South could win and could draw trumps with the ace and king. Then declarer could safely run the diamonds to get rid of one spade. Safe from all harm.