- TOP PLAYERSOffensePABLO S. TORRE | August 20, 2012
- TAMPA BAY buccaneersENEMY lines WHAT A RIVAL COACH SAYSJune 28, 2012
- Faces in the CrowdJune 11, 2001
[— of Spades]
In the entire World Championship, during which I played close to 500 hands, I consider this my worst error: I forgot to count declarer's tricks.
When partner discards the deuce of hearts at trick one, you know declarer has the king of hearts. That, along with a known six-card spade suit and the ace of diamonds, gives declarer nine tricks.
The defense must set up two diamond tricks before declarer develops his 10th trick in clubs. The play is to win the ace of clubs and immediately switch to the king of diamonds. Then, when partner gets in with the king of clubs, he will have two good diamonds to cash.
However, when declarer played a low club, I cheerfully played second-hand low—goodby to defeating the contract. Partner won the king of clubs and played the queen of diamonds. I unblocked with the king, but declarer won the second diamond, reentered his hand with a trump and led a second club. I won the ace but did not have a diamond to lead, and declarer was able to discard his losing diamond on dummy's high club.
Incredibly, in the other room, Pittala, normally a very careful defender, also came to grief after a heart lead. Goldman won in dummy, concealing the king, cashed a high spade, led a spade to his hand and played a club. Pittala played low, and once again four spades came rolling in. No swing.