SI Vault
 
YOUR CHANCE TO BE A CHAMP
Edwin B. Kantar
December 24, 1979
If you've ever wondered what it's like to play bridge in a world championship, take a seat at the table. The eight hands shown here were drawn from the Bermuda Bowl, which was held in Rio de Janeiro last October. The writer was a member of the six-man U.S. team that competed against five other nations in a 480-deal round robin, then edged Italy in the final. The winning margin was a mere five International Match Points, narrowest in the Bowl's 29-year history, so it's clear that every decision was important. And each of yours will be, too. For every hand you "play" correctly, you will receive 50 points. When you're finished turn the page to see how you did.
Decrease font Decrease font
Enlarge font Enlarge font
December 24, 1979

Your Chance To Be A Champ

View CoverRead All Articles View This Issue
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25

[7 of Spades]
[5 of Spades]
[2 of Spades]
[Ace of Hearts]
[Jack of Hearts]
[9 of Hearts]
[6 of Hearts]
[4 of Hearts]
[— of Diamonds]
[Ace of Clubs]
[Jack of Clubs]
[10 of Clubs]
[3 of Clubs]
[2 of Clubs]

EAST

[King of Spades]
[Queen of Spades]
[10 of Spades]
[9 of Spades]
[8 of Spades]
[3 of Spades]
[5 of Hearts]
[Ace of Diamonds]
[Queen of Diamonds]
[10 of Diamonds]
[9 of Diamonds]
[7 of Diamonds]
[5 of Clubs]

I'm not proud of this one. I led a low heart to my hand, and when East showed out, I played a third heart. Next I cashed a second club in dummy, ruffed a diamond back to my hand and played off my good clubs, discarding spades from dummy. But with only one trump remaining in dummy I was only able to ruff one spade and thus made only 11 tricks.

After East shows out on the second trump, the correct move is to play a second club immediately. If everyone follows, six can't be made, but if East shows out, six is in the bag, by ruffing a diamond back to your hand, playing off your three high clubs—discarding two spades and a diamond—and crossruffing spades and diamonds.

It is true that all of this is for an over-trick, but in a close match you never can tell. Of course, if trumps are 2-2 the hand is cold for 12 tricks, given the spade block. However, if East somehow turns up with three trumps, you must draw the third trump at once.

In the other room our teammates, Malcolm Brachman and Mike Passell (East-West), bought the hand for four spades and went down one trick when South underled both of his aces to get two diamond ruffs! Nevertheless, the U.S. gained 13 IMPs on the board.

Because this hand was played in the round robin, it meant that it was also being played at three other tables. At one of them, a South player led a trump against four spades! Nevertheless, he wound up getting two diamond ruffs as East was unable to get off dummy without letting North in twice to give South two ruffs.

This lead prompted the VU-GRAPH commentator, Jean Besse, to make the following analysis of the lead: "At no-trump, you lead the suit in which you wish to develop tricks, and South did the same thing at a suit contract. He wished to make spade tricks by ruffing diamonds, so he led spades!"

4

Continue Story
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25