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The Hand of the Tournament… More Than a Backwash Squeeze

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.


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