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Mathe, moxie and stamina turned the trick
Charles Goren
December 14, 1970
A Los Angeles foursome of Lew Mathe, Don Krauss, Richard Walsh and John Swanson overcame an almost insurmountable deficit of 83 international match points to defeat a favored New York quartet headed by Phil Feldesman in the final North American zone playoff in New York last month and win their way to Taiwan as the No. 2 team to represent this continent in the World Championship next May.
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December 14, 1970

Mathe, Moxie And Stamina Turned The Trick

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Later in the match—in fact, only 11 deals Horn the finish—Rubin's three-way two bid cropped up again, this time lowing a strong hand in the suit bid. It was a deal that was destined to provide the Californians with the 12 IMPs that in the end would represent their exact margin of victory, though it was the aggressive bidding of the Californians rather than any flaw in the New Yorker's two-bid that made the difference in the result.

At first glance it would seem that a club lead could defeat the contract; East could win with the ace, give his partner an immediate club ruff, and later the defenders could collect either the heart king or the queen of clubs, or both. But if declarer is careful to finesse his jack on the second club lead, he can limit the opponents to just two tricks. Declarer can win a heart shift with his ace, fell West's spade jack on the first trump lead and enter dummy with the 10 of spades to take the now proven club finesse. Dummy's remaining heart can then be discarded on the club king, after which declarer's heart loser can be ruffed with dummy's last trump.

When Swanson selected the heart king rather than his club as his opening, he made the lead that could set the contract. Westheimer won with the ace, drew trumps in two rounds and cashed the ace of diamonds. He then led a heart to West's queen, giving the defenders a chance to go wrong by leading two rounds of clubs. Instead, Swanson exited with a diamond, dummy's jack forcing East's king. Declarer ruffed, entered dummy with the spade 10 and discarded a club on the good diamond queen. But it was of no avail. On the club lead from dummy, East could afford to duck—or go up with the ace and exit with a heart. Either way, South was forced to give up two club trick for minus 100.

At the other table, Krauss had opened the South hand with two clubs, the conventional forcing bid on a strong hand Feldesman-Grieve, sitting East-West competed to four hearts, then allowed South to play at four spades. Krauss won the opening lead of the heart king drew trumps and eventually made his contract, losing two clubs and one heart. The combined loss for the New Yorkers was 720 points and that, as it turned out, was the match.

The question that now arises is what will happen in Taiwan? The French have won the European Championship and will be strong contenders for the world title. The Australians, who will be competing in the World Championship for the first time, finished first in the Far Eastern Championship and will also be a threat, But America has two teams, each of them powerful enough to be considered the favorite. Hopefully one of them will bring home the Bermuda Bowl.

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