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The Top One

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

Opinions differ as to what constitutes a brilliant piece of play or defence, but for me, one indicator that something special has occurred is if that result is achieved at only one table.
Welcome to Board 4 from Round 7 of the Wuhan Cup and the match between USA2 and Italy.

In the Open Room North led the Quadri8 against 4Picche and declarer took 11 tricks for +650.

Alessandro Gandoglia made the same opening lead as his counterpart. Declarer won and immediately played a heart to the jack, which held the trick!
It is hard to blame declarer for what followed.
She cashed the PiccheAK, came to hand with a diamond and played a heart to the queen. South won and played the QuadriQ, forcing declarer to ruff. With only one entry to dummy she tried a heart to the ace, ruffed a heart and exited with a spade, but North won and exited with a club, South winning and cashing a diamond for one down – the only occasion across the four events on which fewer than 10 tricks were recorded.
I’m not saying that’s the most brilliant defensive play I have ever seen, but it’s in the top 1.

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.