Nickell Team: Frank Nickell, Ralph Katz, Eric Rodwell, Jeff Meckstroth, Bobby Levin, Steve Weinstein

Board 71 from today’s USA2 final match presented declarer with the opportunity to make an amazing play. Steve Weinstein played in 5 doubled, while his teammates played in an unlucky 6 contract (A heart lead combined with 5-0 clubs was too much to handle).


Fleisher led the ace of clubs against 5X. Weinstein ruffed and played a diamond. Fleisher won and played a trump (an initial trump lead would always defeat 5). Weinstein won in dummy and played a heart, hoping for the ace of hearts to be in the East hand. This lost to West and a second trump was returned, defeating the contract.

Look what happens if Weinstein decides that the ace of hearts is offside. Instead of playing on hearts, he trumps a club, trumps a diamond, trumps another club and trumps another diamond. At trick eight he trumps a club and West is caught in the Backwash. His last six cards are: 5 A109 K10. If he pitches a diamond, declarer can ruff a diamond, ruff a club and lead the king of hearts to develop his eleventh trick.

Similarly, West can’t pitch his trump. So West must discard a heart, the five card end position is:

Now declarer plays the heart king, West must win and exit a spade to stop the cross-ruff. Declarer wins the spade in dummy and cashes the last spade. East pitches a club on the trump return. But, he has no answer to the ultimate trump. He can discard a club and dummy’s jack will be good, or he can discard a heart and declarer takes the last two
tricks with the queen and six of hearts.