2014 has started with a bang! The second weekend of January saw TGR’s fifth Auction Pairs in which 71 pairs were sold in record time by the world’s most glamorous auctioneer, Ruth Zandberg. This event has become a wild success, with top international players coming from all over the globe. After two days, five pairs could have won in the last session, and up until the last board it was neck-and-neck, but finally the trophy was taken by Californian rubber bridge player Kevin Castner, playing with England’s golden boy David Gold.
On the following hand, David showed his not inconsiderable skills in the card play. West led the ♥K. How would you plan the play? With seven trumps and three aces, making the contract is not a problem, but this was pairs and the overtrick is worth — well, gold! It looks like it should be possible to put pressure on West, who’s guarding both Hearts and Diamonds, but to get to a favourable position declarer needs to concede a couple of tricks first, and without East getting in, as a Diamond through would kill all communication. Suppose declarer takes the ♥Ace and plays the ♥10, discarding a Club from hand? West can continue a high Heart, and South discards another Club, but now a fourth Heart eliminates the Heart threat in dummy — no good.
David found a very elegant and unusual solution — he ducked the lead in dummy and discarded a Club from hand! West shifted to the ♣K, and that also held the trick. Now the scene was set: David won the next Club and ran his seven Spades, and West was squeezed in Hearts and Diamonds for the 11th trick.
Got something to add? Join the discussion and comment below.
You might disagree with half of it, but you’ll enjoy reading all of it. Try your first 10 weeks for just $10