The Palm Beach Post – Nov 28, 1969
The Fine Italian Hand was a bridge column written by Giorgio Belladonna, Pietro Forquet and Benito Garozzo published in the sixties in different USA journals.
At a recent tournament in Switzerland, my partner, Benito Garozzo, played a very difficult contract of Five Clubs with the brilliance for which he has become so famous. It was a fascinating hand because at one point he discarded a winner rather than a loser and it turned out later that the discard was essential to the play of the hand.
Here is the complete deal which gave rise to this unusual play:
The bidding calls for some explanation. In the Blue Team Club system played by Garozzo and myself, the opening bid of 1 is forcing for one round. and guarantees at least 17 points. The response of 1 showed less than six points. The rest of the auction was entirely natural, except for Garozzo’s game try of 3.
West led the Ace of Spades and, hoping that his partner held a singleton, continued with the 2. Garozzo played the J, holding the trick, and he discarded a heart from his hand!
The reason for this surprising play will become clear in a moment, he then trumped a spade in his hand and led the K won by East’s Ace.
East shifted to a small diamond, won by Garozzo’s Ace, and he now cashed the Queen and Jack of Clubs, drawing all the adverse trumps. Alter playing off the Ace and King of Hearts Garozzo arrived at the following end Position:
When Benito played the 4 of Hearts, West was forged to discard a diamond (otherwise dummy’s spades would both have been established) and Garozzo ruffed in the dummy and played the king of Spades. East was now squeezed, for if he discarded his heart, Garozzo could discard his losing diamond, and if East discarded a diamond, Garozzo would discard his losing heart, and score the last two tricks with the King and 6 of diamonds.
A magnificently played hand by Benito, who saw early in the play that he had to retain his small diamond as menace against East for the end game.