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Cutting some uppity kids down to size
Charles Goren
October 18, 1971
By beating a squad of young Precision System experts led by Joel Stuart in the semifinal of the U.S. team playoffs in New York last month, Lew Mathe's team avenged an earlier defeat and moved a step closer to a repeat appearance in world title competition. The victory entitles Mathe, Don Krauss, Edgar Kaplan and Norman Kay to meet the world champion Aces Oct. 22-24 in New Orleans, the winner to be the U.S. representative in the 1972 World Team Olympiad.
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October 18, 1971

Cutting Some Uppity Kids Down To Size

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SOUTH
( Smith)

1 [Spade]
DBL.
PASS

WEST
( Kay)

2 [Club]
3 [Heart]
PASS

Opening lead: 6 of spades

Kaplan chose not to open the bidding but cue-bid at his next turn to show that his pass was maximum and to encourage Kay to bid hearts if he could.

Smith won the opening spade lead and continued the suit. Kay ruffed and played the heart king to force South's ace. After that, no matter how they played, the defenders could win only the queen of hearts. Plus 420 for the Mathe team.

The excitement mounted in the audience as the Vu-Graph showed the replay. Krauss' jump overcall showed a good hand, but Mathe did not have enough for a free raise. After Krauss took a second bid on his own, however, Mathe upgraded his sketchy values and continued to the spade game.

After his club king held at trick one, Stuart shifted to a trump, won by Krauss. Playing on the assumption that West did not hold a diamond, since East's opening bid would usually have shown a five-card suit, Krauss cashed a second spade, then played the ace and a low heart. He hoped that West would have to win the king of hearts and would be unable to return anything but another club or a heart, giving declarer a chance to discard a losing diamond on the heart queen. But West ducked and dummy's queen won the trick! This unexpected development left Krauss with only two diamonds to lose, and he scored 790 for making his doubled game. Of course, had West gone up with the heart king and shifted to a diamond, East would have taken the ace and king to defeat the contract.

Krauss could have made the hand legitimately as the cards lie. After the club lead and trump shift, declarer leads a diamond at trick three. If West is allowed to hold the queen, the best he can do is exit with a club, forcing dummy to ruff. Declarer then plays ace and another heart, and after taking the king, West must return either a heart or a club, enabling declarer to get rid of his second diamond. If East instead overtakes West's queen at trick three to cash his second high diamond, South's losing heart will eventually be discarded on dummy's diamond jack. Finally, if East, after overtaking the queen of diamonds, does not cash his second diamond but shifts to a heart, declarer can win and return a heart. West can make his king, but dummy's queen is established as before for a diamond discard.

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