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A familiar finish for the Blues from Italy
Charles Goren
July 01, 1968
This year someone was supposed to beat the famous Blue Team, and the Americans hoped to have the honor. But in the grueling Olympiad at Deauville the best players from 32 countries failed to alter the traditional plot
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July 01, 1968

A Familiar Finish For The Blues From Italy

This year someone was supposed to beat the famous Blue Team, and the Americans hoped to have the honor. But in the grueling Olympiad at Deauville the best players from 32 countries failed to alter the traditional plot

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In the closed room the Italians had already made four spades against the normal opening lead of the heart 9. When the hand appeared on the Bridge-0-Rama screen, the commentators predicted a standoff. As North-South had not bid clubs, it did not seem likely that the defense would hit on the killing club ruff. But Pabis Ticci electrified the Bridge-0-Rama audience by leading the club ace, which set the contract two tricks.

When his partner's 10 fell, Pabis Ticci continued with a club. D'Alelio ruffed and put his partner back on lead with a diamond to collect a second ruff. Pabis Ticci still had a natural trump trick, setting the contract two tricks and gaining 13 points for Italy.

Realizing that this hand had been a crushing blow, Jordan and Robinson gamely bid a grand slam two hands later, knowing that it depended on a finesse. The king was wrong, and the Italian kings of bridge were safely on the throne—one they have occupied so long that it's hard to remember when the Blue Team was not giving all its opponents the blues.

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