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The Greatest Player by Phillip Alder

Gadsden Times – Dec 27, 1999

Who is the best player of all time?

Philip Alder
Philip Alder

Three Italians figure prominently in the voting. Giorgio Belladonna, Pietro Forquet and Benito Garozzo. Garozzo learned the basics from an Ely Culbertson book. His game improved in Egypt, where he lived from 1948-1950 and 1951-1954.

He joined the Blue Team in 1981. It was Garozzo’s first exposure to a strong-club system, yet they won the Bermuda Bowl. Forquet and Garozzo won 10 world team titles together. After the retirement of the Blue Team, Garozzo formed a wonderful partnership with Belladonna.

Garozzo is renowned for imaginative card-play, and especially when defending, he has produced many beautiful falsecards -as in this deal.aa

After winning with dummy’s diamond ace, you want to avoid losing a trick in each red suit. It is reasonable to play a heart to the queen at trick two. If the finesee loses, there’s a trump in the dummy to ruff a diamond return. And on say, a spade switch, you can presumably draw trumps and take discards on dummy’s clubs.

Fine, but when South led dummy’s hearts seven, East smouthly played the king!.

As it was a pair event. South thought he could now win a valuable overtrick. So, he played a trump to dummy’s jack, then tried to return to hand with a club. Garozzo ruffed and led a diamond to his partner’s queen for one down. Incredible!


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