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The One that (almost) got Away

The One that (almost) got Away

By In 46th World Bridge Teams Championships On 21st August 2023

This deal from Round 1 nearly slipped through the net.

West led the Cuori3 and declarer won with the Cuori5, took two more rounds of the suit ending in dummy and played a spade for the queen and king, West switching to the Quadri10. Declarer won in hand, drew the outstanding trump and played a spade to the nine, establishing a tenth trick when that forced the ace, +420.

West led the more challenging Quadri10 and declarer won with the king and cashed the CuoriQ disclosing the 4-0 break when East discarded the Quadri4. Appreciating that drawing trumps would man that the contract would probably rest on the location of the FioriK declarer turned his attention to spades, leading the queen, which West won to play a second diamond. Declarer won in dummy, played a heart to the ace and a second spade, putting in the nine which saw East take the ace and return the QuadriJ. Declarer ruffed with the CuoriJ, West pitching the Fiori2, crossed to dummy with the CuoriK, cashed the PiccheJ and ruffed a spade. He could then exit with a heart forcing West to lead a club into the FioriAQ.

Many pairs went down in 4Cuori. As a small aside, on the auction at this table, is there a case for North to bid 3NT over partner’s double? Although no-one managed to reach that safe harbour in the Venice Cup, two pairs managed it in each of the other three events.

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.