European Pairs
Number 4 Wednesday 19 March 1997
Editors: Mark Horton, Brian Senior, Patrick Jourdain Web Editor: Panos Pavlides

Results Contents
OPEN, Semi-Final A, Sess 1
OPEN, Semi-Final B, Sess 1
SENIORS, Qualifier, Sess 3
OPEN PAIRS, 2nd Qualifying session
OPEN PAIRS, 3rd Qualifying session
OPEN PAIRS, 1st Semi-Final session
One Deal: Three Stories

Sensational start
to the Open Semi-final

If a poll of the other one hundred and eleven pairs had been conducted about the likely position of the defending champions at the end of the first session of the semi-final, you can be certain that no-one would have got it right, as Gawrys and Lasocki slumped to an almost unbelievable 33.96%, which leaves them firmly rooted at the bottom of the table.

Almost as sensational are the results recorded by the pair that headed the qualifiers, Johnsen & Norby, who could only manage 39.63% and the 40.41% collected by Waterlow & Hackett.

This is how things look at the 'right' end of the table:

1 Simon Wernle Austria 1684.4 63.51%
2 Leijnse Zwerver Netherlands 1674.3 63.13%
3 Kiema Koistinen Finland 1664.9 62.78%

Seniors begin their Medal Round

Today sees the first of the three sessions that will decide the Seniors Championship. These were the leading qualifiers:

1 Riise Saltero Norway 3338.6 56.32%
2 Humburg Mattsson Germany 3324.3 56.08%
3 Hall Lind Sweden 3311.8 55.87%

OPEN PAIRS 2nd Qualifying Session

After two sessions of Qualifying the leaders were Paul Hackett & Tony Waterlow of Britain, who had secured the silver medal in Rome. The Bulletin watched six of their boards in the third session, but brought them no luck.

At the first table they met the fine Danish Junior pair, brothers Lars & Morten Lund Madsen.

Board 19. E/W Game. Dealer South.
K Q 7
6 5
9 7 5
K J 10 5 2
J 10 8 A 9 4 2
A Q 10 8 7 K 2
J 10 8 2 A K 4 3
4 A Q 3
6 5 3
J 9 4 3
Q 6
9 8 7 6

West North East South
Waterlow Lars Hackett Morten

Pass 1 Dble 2
2 3 3NT All Pass

Lars Lund Madsen opened very light in third seat but the final contract was normal enough, as was the club lead. Hackett took what appears a perfectly normal line of laying down one top diamond then crossing to dummy on a second heart to take the diamond finesse. When this lost the clubs were cleared. As the hearts did not break Hackett was held to nine tricks.

This proved to be a poor score as several declarers, perhaps with a more favourable lead, had got at least one red suit right.

Board 20. Game All. Dealer West.
10 9 6 2
A Q 6 5 4
5 2
Q 10
Q 4 3 K J
10 2 K J 8
9 3 Q J 10 7 6
K J 9 7 5 3 8 6 2
A 8 7 5
9 7 3
A K 8 4
A 4

West North East South
Waterlow Lars Hackett Morten

Pass Pass 1 Pass
1NT 2 Pass 4
All Pass

Both the Lund Madsens passed initially. When Lars entered boldly for the lead, Morten felt he had enough to raise to game. However, declarer lost the obvious five tricks for 200 and a good result for East/West.

The skip move brought the British to another pair of brothers, this time E. & W. Bakker (I hope when they play East/West they sit in the appropriate seats).

Board 25. E/W Game. Dealer North.
10 7
K 9 4
9 8 7 5 3
A 5 2
J 8 K 9 4 2
Q 7 6 3 J 10
4 2 A K J 10 6
K J 10 6 3 9 4
A Q 6 5 3
A 8 5 2
Q 8 7

West North East South
Waterlow EB Hackett WB

Pass 1 Dble
1NT Pass Pass 2
All Pass

The Bakkers were playing a system, Bakker Speleers, invented by their grandfather, which they claimed was the last one licensed by the NBB.

Against South's 2 the defense began with two rounds of diamonds. South ruffed and tried ace and another club towards the queen. West cashed two clubs and Hackett decided to discard a heart. This gave declarer a chance of picking up the suit but, when West switched to a heart, declarer won in dummy and finessed Q. He then exited with a low spade. West won and should play a winning club on which East discards a diamond. Declarer makes only his two remaining trumps. But West led a heart and East was ruffing thin air with a good trump, so declarer then made both his trumps and A for only one light.

At the table where Onno Eskes of the Netherlands was declarer in 1, West, Marc Smith, led a diamond and Martyn Hill-Jones switched to a club to the queen, king and ace. Declarer ruffed a diamond, and played three rounds of hearts. West won, cashed his two clubs, and then led the fourth heart. Dummy ruffed with the ten but was over-ruffed. Then a third diamond saw declarer ruffing low and suffering another over-ruff. Finally West exited with J and East still had to make 9; also one down.

This next deal contained a big decision for the British pair:

Board 26. Game All. Dealer East.
A K Q J 8
10 9 7 4
K 4 3
3 10 6
Q 7 3 2 A J 8 5
8 3 A K Q 5 2
9 8 7 6 5 2 A 10
9 7 5 4 2
10 9 6 4
J 6

West North East South
Waterlow EB Hackett WB

1 Pass
Pass 1 Dble 2
3 3 Dble All Pass

Despite the 4-1 heart break it looks as if East/West, on a spade lead, can make 4, losing just a spade, a heart and a club. West should have brought the heart suit into the bidding at some point, perhaps over 2, either by doubling or using 2NT to show two places to play.

It was a particularly painful board as 3 doubled could not be beaten. East cashed two top diamonds and the ace of clubs. He then tried a third diamond, but declarer ruffed with the nine and West was unable to over-ruff. 730 was a top for North/South.

Things were a little better at the next table:

Board 29. Game All. Dealer North.
J 10 9
A Q 7 2
Q J 6 4
J 2
K 7 6 3 2
K 9 8 10 6 4 3
K 9 2 5 3
A K 8 7 6 Q 10 9 5
A Q 8 5 4
J 5
A 10 8 7
4 3

West North East South
Waterlow Berendregt Hackett Paping

Pass Pass 1
1NT Dble Pass Pass
2 2 All Pass

Having doubled, North did not have to bid more than 2. Declarer lost the obvious four tricks, for an average result.

Board 30. Love All. Dealer East.
A J 10 4
J 8 2
K J 4
Q 9 8
6 3 2 K 9 7 5
K Q 4 3 6 5
A 7 9 6
7 6 4 3 A K J 10 5
Q 8
A 10 9 7
Q 10 8 5 3 2

West North East South
Waterlow Berendregt Hackett Paping

1 2
Dble 3 All Pass

West led a club against South's 3. East won cheaply and switched to a heart. Declarer finessed and West tried another club. South ruffed and led a trump. West won and led a third club. Again South ruffed and ran the spade queen. East won and tried a second heart. Now South won, drew trumps, and threw two hearts on dummy's spades. And so 3 just made.

The defence to beat 3 was difficult to find. When West won Q he had to play another one away from his king. Declarer gets a cheap heart trick but West wins the first diamond, and gives East a heart ruff. Declarer cannot avoid a spade loser so the partscore is defeated. Note that a spade switch from West at trick three is not good enough if declarer guesses the finesse is losing. He can rise with the ace and play a trump. Then the defence cannot come to the heart trick or the ruff.

OPEN PAIRS 3rd Qualifying Session

Going into the final session of qualifying, two of the big name pairs with something to do were two-time champions, Michel Perron and Paul Chemla of France and the German women, Sabine Auken and Daniela von Arnim.

Board 7. Game All. Dealer South.
Q 4
A 10 9 6 4 3
10 6 5 2
A J 8 7 5 10 9
K Q J 8 7
J A Q 4 3
K Q 10 7 6 3 A 8 4
K 6 3 2
5 2
K 9 8 7
9 5 2

West North East South
Baroghel Auken Metz v.Arnim

1 2 3NT Pass
4 All Pass

3NT would have been the top scoring contract but it was almost impossible for Baroghel to pass that with his undisclosed distribution. In 4, Sabine Auken made the best lead of a diamond, establishing a force, but declarer was not under pressure. He won the diamond, took a losing spade finesse, ruffed the next diamond and crossed to A to repeat the spade finesse, carefully overtaking with the jack. Baroghel cashed the A then simply ran the clubs and claimed ten tricks; +620.

West North East South
Lobstein Perron Zandvoort Chemla

1 Pass 1NT Pass
2 Pass 3NT Pass
4 Pass 4 Pass
4NT Pass 5 Pass
6 All Pass

The Dutch pair gave a boost to Chemla/Perron when they reached the hopeless slam. Why anyone playing five card majors with a forcing no trump would open 1 rather than 1 is beyond me. The 2 rebid could have been three cards so not surprisingly Lobstein felt the need to go on over 3NT. When Zandvoort cuebid 4, Lobstein used RKCB but the response committed him to slam. Surely 4NT is too much; partner is entitled to bid on if you just sign-off, after all.

Perron led ace and a low heart. Had declarer put in dummy's eight he would have had a brief flicker of hope but he rose with the queen and eventually conceded one down; -100.

Board 8. Love All. Dealer West.
10 9 6
A 10 5 4
Q 2
Q 9 5 2
A 8 5 K 2
9 K J 8 6 3 2
K 7 5 4 10 9 3
J 8 6 4 3 10 7
Q J 7 4 3
Q 7
A J 8 6

Against the Germans, Metz opened a weak 2 and von Arnim overcalled 2, where she played. Von Arnim won the heart lead, dropping her queen, and played a low diamond for the jack and king. Back came a club and she unblocked the suit then played a diamond to the queen and tried to take a pitch on the Q. That was ruffed and over-ruffed and von Arnim ruffed a diamond low and played a spade to the king. Metz played king then jack of hearts and von Arnim ruffed high, Baroghel pitching a club, and led A from hand. When Baroghel followed, it was essential for dummy to discard or West would have two trump tricks. Von Arnim had a complete count and knew that East could not have a trump left so duly got the ending right; +140.

West North East South
Lobstein Perron Zandvoort Chemla

Pass 2 Pass 2NT
Pass 3 Dble Pass
Pass Rdble Pass 3NT
Pass 4 All Pass

Pass Pass Dble Pass Pass Rdbl Pass 3NT Pass All Pass After Perron made an immediate raise, Chemla enquired with 2NT but when he suggested 3NT as an alternative game Perron went back to 4, a dubious decision. In fact, 3NT is much more likely to succeed than 4.

Lobstein led his heart but, as there had been no weak two opening, Chemla had no reason to rise with the ace. When he ducked he was quickly defeated. Zandvoort won the king and gave a ruff. Lobstein returned a club and Chemla won and played a spade. Zandvoort won the king and played a low heart, ruffed high and over-ruffed, when discarding a diamond would have saved a trick as West is ruffing with the trump ace. Eventually, Chemla had to take the diamond finesse and when that failed he was two down; -100 and most of the previous board's gains had been wiped out.

Board 9. E/W Game. Dealer North.
Q 2
K 9 8 7 6
J 6 2
K J 5
A 9 8 7 3 J 10
Q 4 2 J 10
K 8 5 3 A Q 10 7 4
6 Q 7 3 2
K 6 5 4
A 5 3
A 10 9 8 4

Sabine Auken opened a mini-no trump on the North hand and was allowed to play there. Had Garcio Ribeiro of Portugal led his long suit, the story might have been quite different. In practice, he led J, ducked to the queen. Auken picked up the clubs successfully and ran the suit and West, Lopes threw all his hearts. Five heart tricks meant eleven in all and a healthy +210.

The French pair got up to 3 under their own steam and the play was strange, to say the least. Declarer tried his best to go down and the defense seemed to be doing their best not to take the tricks on offer.

Saulis of Lithuania led J and Vainikonis took his ace and returned the suit, Perron winning the queen. Perron led a low diamond to the nine and king and a spade return would have netted a ruff and left declarer to pick up the clubs and hearts. No, Vainikonis switched to his singleton club to the jack, queen and ace. Perron cashed A now and led a second heart. When Vainikonis played low he needed only to win the king, ruff a diamond and lead K to get rid of his last diamond, guaranteeing the contract and actually making an overtrick. No, Perron finessed and lost to J. The defense could have taken a club ruff now to hold declarer to nine tricks. No, Saulis played A, forcing dummy to ruff. Now the sure way to succeed is for declarer to throw his last diamond on the K, not worrying if it gets ruffed, but Perron tried to come to hand with a club, looking for ten tricks. Vainikonis ruffed the club and led a diamond for one down; -50.

Board 10. Game All. Dealer East.
K J 9 7 6
Q 6 3
10 9 4 3
A K Q J 10 7 6 5
A 10 8 4 3 Q
J 10 4 2 A K 9 8
6 5 2 K
8 4 3 2
5 2
7 5
A Q J 8 7

West East
Lopes Ribeiro

1 2
3 4
5 5
5 Pass

1 could have been various things including, as here, a strong canapé type. 1 was a negative or natural in the 7-10 range and 2 confirmed the strong type. 3 was natural and 4 stressed the suit quality. Lopes bid 5 to ask for a club control but Ribeiro decided his hand was too poor for slam and denied the control so Lopes signed-off.

Von Arnim led the 2, Polish style low from a doubleton and declarer ran it to his queen, hoping to get a club discard if the lead was from the king. But Auken had the K and wasted no time in switching to a club. Declarer got the diamond right by finessing but that was only eleven tricks; +650.

The Lithuanians bid quickly to 4 via a 1 opening, forcing no trump response and 4 rebid. Chemla led a diamond and there were no possibilities to go wrong now; +680.

Of our two pairs, the Germans were having the better of things and it was no surprise when they scraped into the semi-final while the French pair missed out. It was a close run thing for the Germans, however. Whenever they had a good board there was a bad one lurking not far behind. Witness the very next round.

Board 11. Love All. Dealer South.
A K 9 2
Q J 6
J 5 4
7 6 4
4 3 J 10 6
10 9 8 4 3 7 2
Q 8 7 A 3 2
K 8 3 A J 10 9 2
Q 8 7 5
A K 5
K 10 9 6
Q 5

Daniela von Arnim opened 1 and Auken responded 2, at least invitational in spades. Now East, Zabedzki of Poland, bid 3 as much for the lead as anything. Von Arnim leaped to game and Michalski saved in 5, not an obvious choice with his balanced hand but he was clearly expecting something different for the 3 call. Auken doubled 5 and that was that. The defense took its five winners and when declarer got the trumps wrong that was -800.

Board 12. N/S Game. Dealer West.
J 9 2
9 7 5 4
J 10 9
Q J 8
Q 3 A 10 8 5
K 10 8 6 3 Q J 2
5 4 2 A Q 8 7
7 6 4 10 5
K 7 6 4
K 6 3
A K 9 3 2

West North East South
Michalski Auken Zabedzki v.Arnim

Pass Pass 1 Pass
1 Pass 1 Dble
2 Pass Pass Dble
All Pass

1 was Polish and 1 often just a negative. Von Arnim had to wait to the second round to double but when Michalski bid 2, knowing his partner had the weak no trump type, she doubled again to show her extras. That left Auken with an unattractive set of options and she went for pass.

It is not easy for the defense to get at their six tricks and it proved to be beyond the Germans. Auken led J to the queen and king and now von Arnim switched to K, getting the queen from her partner. She led a low club next to the jack, hoping for a spade through, although with declarer's communications established that would have come too late as he can get rid of his second diamond loser on the A. In fact, Auken switched to a trump to the ace and von Arnim played back the A, hoping to find partner with slightly better trumps. Dummy ruffed and led a low spade to the king. Now von Arnim played a diamond but it was much too late. Declarer won, unblocked the spades and played a heart to dummy to throw his diamond on A. That was +470 and just another dull flat round.

South needs to return a diamond or low club before declarer has the quick dummy entry. Now a spade through establishes the sixth defensive trick. If North does not lead a spade through, the fourth diamond can be established for a spade pitch.

OPEN PAIRS 1st Semi-Final Session

For the first session of the Open semi-final I watched the same six boards at two different tables. Not only did I not see the same result on any of the boards, only once was the trump suit the same! Our featured pairs are Bjorn Wenneberg and Lars Goldberg of Sweden and Malcolm Harris and Ian Panto of Great Britain. The latter pair had the biggest single session during the qualifying stage, a small matter of 66%.

Board 9. E/W Game. Dealer North.
10 2
K 10
A Q 8 7 3
J 9 8 2
7 4 A Q 9 8 6 5
9 8 5 J 4 3
K 10 6 4 -
A K 6 4 10 7 5 3
K J 3
A Q 7 6 2
J 9 5 2

West North East South
Gal Wenneberg Winkler Goldberg

1 2 Dble
3 Pass Pass 3NT
All Pass

Wenneberg's wafer thin opening bid guaranteed that his side would reach game. Having started with a negative double, Goldberg had little option but to bid 3NT the next time round.

Gal of Hungary led a spade and Winkler won the ace and returned a spade. Goldberg put in the jack and led J to the king and ace then ran the hearts, cashed the K and picked up the diamonds for an excellent +490.

At our other table, Kiema and Koistinen of Finland were the East/West pair. Kiema opened a multi in second seat after Ian Panto had passed as dealer. Koistinen responded 2, to play opposite spades but interested in hearts, and there the matter rested. Panto led a club to queen and ace and Koistinen took the losing trump finesse. Malcolm Harris switched to a diamond for the king and ace, ruffed. There was nothing to the play from here, declarer losing three hearts, a club and another spade for one down; -100 but a fair score for East/West.

Board 10. Game All. Dealer East.
J 4 3
J 8 7 4 3 2
10 8 5
A 8 7 K 9 6
J 10 9 8 A Q 4
10 A 5
A Q 7 4 2 K J 9 6 3
Q 10 5 2
K 7 6 5 2
K Q 9 6

West North East South
Gal Wenneberg Winkler Goldberg

1NT 2
2NT Pass 4 Pass
6 All Pass

Winkler opened a strong no trump and 2 showed four spades and a second, longer, suit. 2NT was at least invitational in clubs and Winkler showed a highly suitable hand by going past 3NT. Peter Gal just jumped to slam. There was nothing to the play; +1370.

West North East South
Koistinen Panto Kiema Harris

1 1
2 Pass 2NT Pass
3 Pass 4 Pass
4 Pass 4NT All Pass

Kiema's 1 was strong, 17+, and 2 a natural positive. Kiema showed a balanced 17-20 but when Kiema checked back with 3 he admitted to the club support. Koistinen cuebid and now Kiema intended 4NT as asking for aces. Alas, that was not how Koistinen took it.

Not only was the cold slam missed, but after the Q lead there was no tenth trick after careful discarding from the defenders; -100.

Board 11. Love All. Dealer South.
A 6 5 2
K J 3 2
Q 5
J 9 8
K J 10 8 3 Q 9
A 7 Q 9
A J 9 6 3 K 8 7 4 2
A Q 10 4 3
7 4
10 8 6 5 4
K 7 6 5 2

West North East South
Zeligman Wenneberg Birman Goldberg

1 Pass 1NT Pass
3 Pass 4 All Pass

The top Israeli pair reached 4 via an invitational jump rebid of 3, promising 5-5, from Zeligman. Wenneberg led a low heart, reasonably enough, but that just gave the twelfth trick. Zeligman put up the queen and set about the trumps; +480.

West North East South
Cronier Panto Salama Harris

1 Pass 1NT Pass
2 Pass 3 Pass
3 Dble 3NT Pass
4 Pass 4 Pass
4NT Pass 5 Pass
5 All Pass

The French pair reached the worst scoring game (apart from 3NT the wrong way up on a heart lead, of course), having explored carefully along the way. Cronier could only rebid 2 but Salama had an easy raise and now Cronier showed a heart feature. Salama suggested 3NT but Cronier was interested in slam so cuebid 4. 4 showed some willingness to play there but Cronier now used Blackwood then signed-off in the safer trump fit. Twelve tricks were easy, of course; +420 but a poor score.

Probably Cronier could not convince himself that partner had a doubleton spade honour after he had failed to bid 3 over 3.

Board 12. N/S Game. Dealer West.
A K 10 5 3
Q 2
9 7 2
10 4 3
6 9 8 7 2
K 9 7 4 A 6
A K Q 5 3 10 8 4
A J 7 K 8 5 2
Q J 4
J 10 8 5 3
J 6
Q 9 6

At this point, Birman bid 3 which had Lebensohl overtones so showed some values; Salama preferred 3. Both ended the auction.

A spade lead and continuation didn't pose many problems for Cronier in 3. He was able to ruff two hearts in the dummy and eventually emerged with twelve tricks; +170.

The same defense was more challenging for Birman, forcing dummy to ruff with the three card trump holding. He played three rounds of diamonds for Goldberg to ruff and back came a heart to the queen and ace. Birman ruffed a spade with J then played king and another heart. Wenneberg discarded a spade so that was one cheap ruff and Birman crossed to A and led the last heart. Again Wenneberg discarded so Birman made his other small trump and had ten tricks; +130.

Board 13. Game All. Dealer North.
10 7 6 5
A 10 7
A Q 8 6 5
K 9 8 4 2 A J 3
9 6 Q 8 7 4
9 8 Q 6 5 4 3 2
K 9 7 2 -
K J 10 5 3 2
J 10 4 3

Wenneberg opened 2, Precision-style. Umshaus of Austria overcalled 2 and Goldberg jumped to 4, ending the auction. The lead was a low diamond to the jack and Goldberg led a heart to the ace, a diamond to the king, and cashed the K. Now he got greedy. He led J and, when Babsch ducked smoothly, rose with the ace, expecting the king to be offside. He hoped to pitch his spade loser on the A while West either discarded or had to ruff with the queen. All quite plausible but unfortunately Umshaus was ruffing the club and declarer had managed to create a club loser plus a trick for the missing small trump and was down one! -100 looked as though it would be pretty horrible for the Swedes.

West North East South
Crestey Panto Louchart Harris

1 Pass 1
Pass 1 Pass 3
Pass 3 Pass 3
Pass 3NT All Pass

With Louchart of France keeping quiet on the East hand, the British pair had a free run. Harris bid his hearts then gave non-forcing jump preference to clubs and Panto bid the fourth suit. Harris showed extra heart length but then respected Panto's choice of 3NT. On a diamond lead, Panto set about the clubs and quickly cashed his ten tricks for a solid +630.

Board 14. Love All. Dealer East.
J 3
A 6 5 2
J 9 8 4
K 6 3
A 8 2 K 10 9 7 5 4
Q 4 3 J 8
Q 10 2 A K 6
10 9 8 2 J 7
Q 6
K 10 9 7
7 5 3
A Q 5 4

Umshaus opened 1, possible canapé, and rebid 2 over Babsch's 1NT response, ending the auction.

The French pair were playing five card majors so Crestey raised immediately to 2 and Louchart reraised to 3, pre-emptive, also ending the auction.

Both Goldberg and Harris led a heart and both Wenneberg and Panto took the ace and switched to a low club, declarer playing the jack. Back to Goldberg and Harris. Both won Q and cashed A. Then the paths diverged. Goldberg accurately cashed K to hold Umshaus to nine tricks; +140. Harris switched to a diamond and now Louchart could draw trumps, ruff out the K and pitch his heart loser on the club for ten tricks; +170 and an excellent score.

So even when the two tables managed to play in the same trump suit, they still couldn't manage either identical contracts or identical results. That is what makes matchpoints such fun, virtually every board has some interest.

One Deal: Three Stories

This deal from the Second Session of the Open Pairs Qualifier was described in yesterday's Bulletin. The comment that some declarers had made 4 on an end play brought in three stories, each with a different theme:

Board 5. N/S Game. Dealer North.
A 8 6 4 2
A K 8
Q 9
6 5 3
9 J 10 7
Q J 10 9 5 2
K 8 7 5 4 2 J 10 3
K J Q 10 9 8 7
K Q 5 3
7 6 4 3
A 6
A 4 2

West North East South
Hackett Waterlow

1 Pass 3NT
4 4 All Pass

South's 3NT showed a raise to at least 4 with no singleton or void. West bid boldly for the lead.

Paul Hackett duly received a diamond lead against 4. He rose with the ace, drew trumps (West throwing diamonds), and exited with a diamond. West won and switched to Q. Hackett won and ducked a club. West won and led a second heart. Hackett won and and played ace and another club. East was on play with only minor suit cards remaining and had to concede a ruff and discard to allow declarer to avoid a heart loser.

This result helped the British pair, who took silver last time round in Rome, to lead the Pairs here at the end of the session.

West North East South
Hill-Jones Smith

1 Pass 1
2 Dble Pass 2
Pass 4 All Pass

The auction needs explaining. 1 was either natural or 11-13 balanced. The double showed three card support for hearts. South's 2 showed he was 4-4 in the majors and at least invitational.

Unusually, South was declarer, and so West led Q. Marc Smith won this, drew trumps (West throwing diamonds), and then ducked a heart. West won and played a third heart. Now declarer ducked a club. (Note that if East did a "crocodile" with the QUEEN of clubs, declarer must win the ace and play a second round to prevent East obtaining the lead to play a diamond.) West won and exited with a club. Declarer took the ace of clubs, ruffed his last heart, and exited with ace and another diamond. This time it was West who was left on play with only red cards remaining. He had to concede a ruff and discard to allow declarer to avoid his losing club.

The third story came from a current world champion, whose reputation we will protect with anonymity:

West North East South

1 Pass 3NT
Pass 4 All Pass

South showed a spade raise with no shortage.

North was declarer in the popular game and East led a heart. Declarer won, crossed to dummy with a trump, and led a low club away from the ace. West went up with the king and played a second heart. Declarer won, cashed his top trump and the ace of clubs, and then exited with a heart to West. When West tried to exit with the fourth heart, declarer cleverly threw his losing club.

It looked as if West, who had only diamonds left, would be endplayed to lead from his king. However, have you spotted one flaw in declarer's play? Our World champion had omitted to draw the third round of trumps and East, who was holding it, was wide awake. East ruffed his partner's winning heart and led a diamond through the ace. One down!

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