6th World Bridge Championships 1982, Biarritz

Mike Lawrence
Mike Lawrence

Board 28 of the second final session of the Open Pairs produced a series of spectacular defensive plays by my partner, Mike Lawrence, in the South chair.

Board 28 Dealer West N/S Vul

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

  5 4
A J 3
5
Q 8 7 5 4 3 2
 
West North East South
  Kantar   Lawrence
Pass Pass 1 Pass
1 Pass 2
3
3 Pass 4 The End

Declarer ruffed the opening 5 lead and ran the Q to my king. I continued a second club which declarer ruffed. At this point declarer erred.

The bidding had marked South with the A, and in order to retain control, the K ( should have been played. However, declarer led a low heart to the queen at once, giving Lawrence a chance to make newspaper columns around the world, as well as a shot at the BOLS Brilliancy prize. At this point the position was:

  9 7 2
4
9 7 6
10 9
 
A 10 6
9 6
Q J 10 3

  J 8
K 10
A K 8 4 2

  4
A J
5
Q 8 7 3 2
 

Realizing the danger of playing a second round of trumps (Lawrence draws trumps and scores five more club tricks!), declarer played the J followed by another spade.

If Lawrence ruffs declarer can ruff the club return in either hand and clear trumps to make his vote. Lawrence discarded a diamond. On the A Lawrence discarded a club.

Declarer began to play master diamonds. Lawrence discarded four more clubs: I ruffed the fourth diamond with my lowly four of hearts, and Lawrence took the last two trump tricks after having discarded six times to allow me to ruff once!