Bridge Hand Of The Week

Handle with care

May 29, 2017
Dlr: South Vul: E-W
9 15
A K 6 2 J 6 3 10 9 6 J 10 7

7 K 9 7 4 2 A K 4 K Q 4 2
West Pass All Pass
North 2
East Pass
South14

This deal was played in the Bermuda Bowl in 2000. Put yourself in declarers place and plan the play after West starts with a low spade.

Solution

The deal, from the qualifying rounds of the world championship, was mishandled by many declarers (all competitors playthe same boards). One of those who succeeded was Fred Gitelman, a Canadian now living in the USA.

On the opening lead, Gitelman won in dummy. He did not fall into the first trap, cashing the K prematurely, in which case he would have lost control. Instead, he continued with a heart to the king, felling the queen.

Gitelman realized that continuing hearts would again result in his losing control, so he played the K to Wests ace. West persisted in spades.

Gitelman, who had played defensively to that point, realized it was time to change gears. He won the K, ruffed a spade, cashed his top diamonds and the Q and crossed to dummys J. The fourth round of spades allowed him to score a ninth trick with a ruff, then his last club was ruffed with the J. East could overruff with the A, but was down to the 10 8 while Gitelman was poised over him with the 9 7. No matter what East did, Gitelman could come to 10 tricks. The full deal:

9 9 7 15
A K 6 2 J 6 3 10 9 6 J 10 7
Q 8 4 3 Q J 8 7 5 2 A 6 5
J 10 9 5 A 10 8 5 Q 3 9 8 3

7 K 9 7 4 2 A K 4 K Q 4 2