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Brilliancy Missed

Brilliancy Missed

By In 46th World Bridge Teams Championships On 22nd August 2023

On this deal from Round 6 a few pairs reached 6Cuori, but if the defenders are awake the contract usually failed:

If West leads the PiccheJ and East ruffs, declarer has an easy time. However, if East calmly discards a diamond declarer appears to be in trouble. That also appears to the case if West leads a top club. However, suppose declarer wins the opening lead.
If it is a spade the 5-0 split is known, so declarer crosses to dummy with the CuoriQ and plays a second spade. It won’t help East to ruff, so declarer can cross to dummy with a diamond and play another spade. Ruffing is still no good for East, but after winning, declarer unblocks the diamonds, ruffs a club to hand, pitches a spade on the QuadriQ and ruffs a spade, East scoring just one trump trick.
If West leads a top club having made a Michaels cue bid then declarer should appreciate the spades must be 5-0 and play accordingly.
Several declarers made 12 tricks in the heart game, but I suspect that was because East ruffed an initial spade lead. I heard that someone played a low spade from the PiccheAKQ3 towards dummy at some point and scored dummy’s Picche9. That’s a very sexy play…. as Zia would say.

About the Author

Mark Horton
Mark Horton

Mark Horton British journalist and expert player, was Editor of Bridge Magazine 1995-2017 and now edits the online publication Bridgerama+. At one time, his business cards were inscribed: Have Cards will Travel, but following the death of his most famous sponsor, the Rabbi Leonard Helman, he has tended to concentrate on his writing exploits (in 2018 he had five books published!). Anyone wanting to discover how to lose at bridge on a regular basis (and pay for the privilege) should feel free to contact him. He currently lives in Shrewsbury with his wife Liz.