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Bridge Today • April 2005 To subscribe, click here!

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April 2005

Editor: Matthew Granovetter

The Magazine for People Who Love to Play Bridge

Winning Without the Hat

Larry Cohen on his team’s victory in the Vanderbilt — Page 11

Also (click to go to page):

2 Viewpoint: April Fools 15 Oh, When the Games Come

Marching In
3 Kantar’s Korner by Pamela Granovetter
by Eddie Kantar
20 Russian Roulette
6 Around the World by Matthew Granovetter
by Migry Zur Campanile
27 The Wizards of Aus
9 The Gold Coast by Ron Klinger
by Paul Marston
31 The Switch in Time Forum

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NOTICE: Please share this issue of Bridge Today eMagazine with you partner. Better still, give him a
subscription of his own. He will thank you each month and he will become a better player. Just click here.
You’ll be glad you did. Subscriptions are $33 per year for 12 monthly issues or packaged with a Bridgetoday.
com $59.95 club membership. Thank you! — Matthew and Pamela Granovetter
Bridge Today • April 2005 To subscribe, click here! page 2

April Fools
April 1, 2015...In the News

The ACBL reported today another 15-point requirement.” Today’s players are
surge in membership among young people. considering whether to lower the range at
President Emeritus, Robert Q. Lewis said: favorable from 6-to-8 to 5+-to-8.
“Many forty-year-olds are beginning to
think about taking up bridge and we’re “It is now possible,” says Larry Cohen,
encouraging them by reducing the entry “to use the Law of Total Tricks to judge
fees at our novice games to $39 a session.” the number of total trumps for the entire
session. It’s all clearly outlined in my new
In a recent decimation of a New York book, ‘The Law for Long KO Matches.’
building, the discovery of a time-capsule Experts can be found on both sides of the
under the old Mayfair Club has surprised camp: Some say it works, others say it has
observers. Two convention cards with the no practical use unless you can replay the
words, “Roth-Stone” on top have been at- previous boards.
tributed to the late Johnny Crawford and
Tootsie Ann-Miser. Despite the nomencla- The Granovetters in a recent Partner-
ture, the notrump range reads 15 to 18. Al ship Bridge column have agreed not to
Roth, by telephone, admits that they were discuss hands in the bar after the game if
both “renegades” and “probably started the score is less than 52%. Pamela, however,
the ball rolling downhill with that light in a “last word,” changed it to 53%.

In a recent issue of Bridge Today eMag- receiving their paychecks under the table,”
azine, Migry Zur-Campanile describes how said King. “After all, it’s been 50 years for
being home in front of the computer is the some of them.”
most relaxing way to play the game. “I’m
sick of traveling,” she wrote, “and, besides, The Nickell Bulldog Team has done it
I prefer my husband’s home cooking.” again, down by 93 imps at the half, they
surged to a 3-imp victory after their oppo-
Edwin Kantar’s ninth edition of the fi- nents lost nine consecutive slam swings on
nal version of Roman Keycard Blackwood the last nine boards. “Amazing,” exclaimed
was given five stars in a recent review in VuGraph commentator Barry Rigal. “If
Quebec. The French reviewer especially only we had featured that match instead of
liked the Yvonne’s “jack-of trump” ask the finals of the Fast Pairs!” When veteran
and three-suits agreement amendment. “Je Bob Hamman was asked how he did it, he
suis enchante, Monsieur Kantar!” said, “We tackled them to the ground and
never gave an inch. Just don’t ask how we
Larry King has taken his Prize-Money got behind by 93!”
Bridge Tour to Antartica, where he says
“we hope to attract the locals as well, but Bridge Today eMagazine is now fully
no penguins, please!” With a sponsor on featured with speech, where readers can
the horizon King hopes to make bridge hear, with a click of the mouse, the play-
into a big time sport. “The pros must be ers themselves explaining why they went
tired by now of playing with sponsors and wrong. Enjoy!
Bridge Today • April 2005 To subscribe, click here! page 3

Kantar’s Korner

by Eddie Kantar

I was going through my files recently, pened. Wolffy led the ♣9 and Bob won
discarding old hands, when I came across and returned the jack to the king. Declarer
one of my favorites. It was too good to toss, continued with the ♠A and a spade, and
so here it is: Wolffy jumped up with the king to lead a
club over to Hamman’s hopefully running
North dealer North club suit. Not so fast. Hamman discarded
E-W vul ♠QJ82 the ♣10 on the ♠K so Wolffy could run his
♥43 clubs. They were both trying to be so con-
♦ A K 10 5 4 siderate and look what happened. At least
♣KQ they took one club trick.
West (Wolff) East (Hamman)
♠ K 10 7 6 5 3 ♠4 Now that you’ve seen that defense, may-
♥K ♥ Q 10 9 8 7 6 be you won’t won’t feel too bad if you blow
♦987 ♦J32 this one:
♣932 ♣ A J 10
South South dealer North
♠A9 None vul ♠Q9
♥AJ52 ♥ 10 8 6 2
♦Q6 ♦A763
♣87654 ♣A82
East (you)
West North East South N ♠8543
— 1♦ pass 1♥ W E
S ♥A54
pass 1♠ pass 2 NT ♦K8
pass 3 NT (all pass) ♣ 10 9 6 3

This one goes back to the days when South West North East
Hamman and Wolff were winning every- 1 NT (1) pass 3 NT (2) (all pass)
thing in sight. Passing 1♦ is not the Ham-
man I remember, but that’s what hap- (1) 15-17
(2) Stayman is for peasants

Opening lead: ♦Q
Read Kantar’s Korner
Dummy plays low and you smartly
every Thursday overtake and return a diamond to partner’s
in the Bridge Today Daily Column 9 which holds. Partner exits with the ♦10
to the ace and you have to make a discard.
—exclusively by email— What shall it be?
Bridge Today • April 2005 To subscribe, click here! page 4

At both tables in a major team champi- A few observations. (1) Had North used
onship both East players discarded a spade, Stayman, South’s 2♠ rebid would have
declarer’s ninth trick. This was the full deal: made a spade discard riskier. (2) Partner
exited with the ♦10, not the ♦J, which
South dealer North should have suit-preference overtones. If
None vul ♠Q9 you read the ♦10 as club strength, it is
♥ 10 8 6 2 safe to discard a club. As the cards lie it is
♦A763 also safe to discard a heart, anything but a
♣A82 spade.
West East (you) *****
♠ J 10 7 ♠8543 Sometimes a solid suit can be hard to
♥973 ♥A54 run.
♦ Q J 10 9 ♦K8 North
♣KJ4 ♣ 10 9 6 3 ♠K4
South West East (you)
♠AK62 ♠Q J7 ♠ A 10 9 8 6
♥KQJ South
♦542 ♠532
Against 3NT, West gets off to the double
South West North East dummy lead of the ♠Q in an unbid suit,
1 NT pass 3 NT (all pass) the distribution completely unknown. You
capture dummy’s king, Which spade do you

The easiest one for partner to read is the On opening lead at a suit contract West
8. When declarer plays low, West knows leads low. West is unlikely to have the K-Q,
that declarer cannot have the 9 and the so there is no point in playing the jack. If
10 so you must have them and it is safe to you play low, however, East has to play the
overtake. 9 to save the suit. Some Easts are not up to
that play, and it’s not always right.
Billy Eisenberg once wrote a Bols Bridge North
Tip entitled: “Play Low from Dummy.” It AQ4
dealt with positions where there can be West East
little or no material gain from playing an J 10 3 2 K95
honor card from dummy, and a trick may South
be gained by playing low. For example: 876

North Again at a suit contract West leads low

AJ3 (some lead the jack).
West East
Q 10 8 2 K93 If you can afford to finesse later, play low
South from dummy. Again East has to come up
765 with the 9 to save the suit.
Bridge Today • April 2005 To subscribe, click here! page 5

In the following hand, both teams vying Let me end with a defensive problem that
for a Bermuda Bowl berth, declarer took I give to friends just to see whether they are
Billy’s tip to heart: alert. Here it is:

South dealer North South dealer North

N-S vul ♠2 E-W vul ♠A64
♥ J 10 6 3 ♥AQ5
♦ 10 6 2 ♦ J 10 5
♣AQ872 ♣ K Q J 10
West East West (you)
♠J984 ♠ K 10 7 6 5 ♠J3
♥— ♥98742 ♥97432 W E
♦AKQJ9874 ♦5 ♦A KQ72
♣3 ♣94 ♣5
♠AQ3 South West North East
♥AKQ5 3♠ pass 4♠ (all pass)
♣ K J 10 6 5 You lead a high diamond and partner
encourages, showing a doubleton. You
South West North East continue with two more high diamonds. On
1♣ 5♦ pass pass the third diamond your partner discards the
double pass 6♣ (all pass) ace of clubs!

West went all out for a heart ruff and What now?
led the ♦4. Declarer, following Billy’s tip,
played the deuce from dummy, East played Before giving you the solution (below),
the 5 and when South followed with the 3, this is what two of my friends said when
East was on lead! given this problem:
Judy Seger said, “My partner would never
After a moment’s recovery time, East led discard the ace of clubs.”
a heart and West ruffed. There are excep- Susan Ross said, “Did my partner think I
tions to every tip, even a very good tip. led a club?”


Eddie Kantar invites you Lead a fourth diamond. Partner has

to visit his website at: the stiff king of spades and wants a
trump promotion. This was East’s hand:
kantarbridge.com ♠ K ♥ 10 8 ♦ 9 4 ♣ A 9 8 7 6 4 3 2

Bridge Today • April 2005 To subscribe, click here! page 6

Around the world with 52 cards

by Migry Zur Campanile

A mild winter is one of the great plus- When we arrived in Holland, I quickly
ses that come with living in sun-soaked Tel put on my weather battle gear only to find
Aviv, and it is often quite a shock to real- out that it seemed to be very, very…warm!
ize how much more severe the climate can The temperature was a sweltering +8 Cel-
get elsewhere in months like January or sius, which felt to me like +38 and forced
February, especially for someone like me me back to the hotel for a quick change of
who puts on a woolly jumper whenever the clothes among the merriment of my team-
temperature drops below 25 Celsius. That is mates, who had been traveling light with
why just before traveling to Utrecht, Hol- wind-jackets and jeans. Still the nice weath-
land, where I was invited to take part in the er meant that we could take full advantage
White House teams tournament, I found of our first day off in Utrecht.
myself scanning nervously the weather
forecasts predicting below-zero temperatures, I love Holland with its beautiful and
and I resolved to take drastic steps. varied architecture, its canals, and its peace-
fully multicultural heritage. Utrecht is a
After a thorough search in the local great show-case of everything that makes
telephone directory I finally located what this country so appealing without the mas-
I was looking for: a shop specializing in sive crowds of Amsterdam.
outfitting travelers to destinations with
extreme weather conditions. I easily found Utrecht is much smaller and more com-
the shop and a very helpful sales assistant pact than the Dutch capital, and walking its
with whom I soon became quite friendly, so streets is sheer delight. The main pedestrian
much so that when I got to the cash till to area is about a square mile, a maze of twisty
pay for my purchases she offered to lend me paved brick roads that encircle the Oude-
guides from the well stocked shop library gracht, a charming canal, lined with shops
and to assist me with whatever extra info at street level, while the restaurants are situ-
I needed for my expedition: Did I plan to ated several meters below along the quays.
tour the Siberian outback or was I part of
an Arctic expedition? When I told her my Utrecht’s main tourist hotspot is the
real destination, she looked at me in disbe- Dom Plein and its colorful outdoor cafes,
lief and then turned away repressing an ill- dominated by the huge presence of the
concealed giggle. No matter, I knew that I Dom Tower at the northern edge of the
was now fully equipped to brave the worse Museum Quarter, which might as well be
that mid-February Dutch weather could called “Museum Half,” because it makes up
throw at me. half the city.
Bridge Today • April 2005 To subscribe, click here! page 7

After a pause at a nice outdoor café, we vided in two consolation finals. We finished
went on to explore some of the outer dis- third in our group and in the match against
tricts, finding a few interesting points along another top ranked Dutch team this inter-
the way. The one I liked the most is the esting board came up:
Lombok district, just a few hundred yards
northwest of the train station. Lombok is North dealer North
where much of Utrecht’s ethnic diversity All vul ♠AK74
can be found in the shape of stores and res- ♥—
taurants featuring cuisines and goods from ♦532
as far away as Indonesia, Thailand, Turkey, ♣986532
and Suriname. That is where we finished West East
our day, sampling our first “Rijstaffel” ♠ J 10 8 3 2 ♠95
(literally “Rice table” in Dutch), a dish that ♥ K 10 5 4 2 ♥J983
originates from Indonesia (once the Dutch ♦A8 ♦ 10 7 4
East Indies) and has eventually become as ♣K ♣ A Q 10 4
popular in Holland as Indian Curry is in South
England. The real Rijstafel consists of up ♠Q6
to 30 dishes and the idea is to slowly move ♥AQ76
up on the spicy scale — from bland satay to ♦KQJ96
hellishly hot curries with a lot in between, ♣J7
served buffet style at the table. Painfully
aware of our bridge commitments the fol- West North East South
lowing day and unwilling to risk taking on Doron Y. Wintermans Israel Y. Tammens
the full Rijstaffel, we opted for a mini ver- — pass pass 1♦
sion, called Nasi Rames, which to us seemed 2♦ 3♦ 3♥ 4♦
just as tasty. It started with a small dish of 4♥ 5♦ double (all pass)
raw vegetables, marinated in rice vinegar,
followed by a number of other dishes. At our table, against Michael Barel and
me, the contract was 3♥ making East-West.
The following morning we made our Our teammates, the Yadlin brothers, were
way to the tournament venue along streets in for a much wilder ride, and when the
blanketed by the heavy overnight snow-fall. Dutch North decided not to take chances
It was my turn now to smile at my woefully over 4♥ and pushed on to 5♦, Israel Yadlin
under-dressed teammates and to generously put out the red card and Doron did well to
offer to share some of my Arctic gear. lead his stiff ♣K. Israel overtook that with
the ace, cashed the ♣Q and continued with
The White House tournament is a very a third club. Tammens ruffed with the ♦J
compact event, which matches a very high while West pitched a heart.
level of play with an extremely friendly
atmosphere. Declarer continued with the ♥A, ruffed
a heart, played a spade to the queen, ruffed
The 32 teams taking part are divided in another heart, cashed the ♠A and tabled
four groups of eight, playing each other in the ♠K. Israel inserted his trump ten, and
matches of eight boards with the top four South overruffed with the ♦Q reaching
qualifying to the final A and the rest di- this position:
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♠7 declarer played the last spade from dummy

♥— and Israel ruffed with the ♦7. Tammens
♦5 overruffed with the ♦9 and played the ♦K
♣98 hoping to squash the ♦8 under the ace.
♠J ♠— No such luck, two down and a fine +500.
♥J Would you have ever guessed at the start
♦A8 S ♦74 that West’s ♦8 would eventually be pro-
♣— ♣ 10 moted as the second undertrick? As Jan van
♠— Cleef wrote in the event’s Bulletin: “This
♥Q filial defensive cooperation led to a trump
♦K96 promotion – rather a trump slomotion!”
This very hand was the scene for some
Next a fourth heart was played, which more interesting action in another match:
was ruffed with dummy’s last trump. Now

The board is rotated for easy reading: by Nystrom, they stopped vulnerable in the
4-2 spade fit, a blatant infraction of David
South dealer North Burn’s Law of Total Trumps: “When you
All vul ♠Q6 are declarer, the total number of trumps
♥AQ76 held by your side should be greater than
♦KQJ96 the total number of trumps held by your
♣J7 opponents.”
West East
♠95 ♠ J 10 8 3 2 However, as the unforgettable Alfred
♥J983 ♥ K 10 5 4 2 Sheinwold used to say: “One advantage
♦ 10 7 4 ♦A8 of awful bidding is that you get very good
♣ A Q 10 4 ♣K practice at playing hopeless contracts.”
South Jansma must clearly have had his share of
♠AK74 misfortunes during his successful interna-
♥— tional career and was not about to give up
♦532 so early on this one!
West was soon off to the normal lead of a
Jansma Nystrom trump taken by the queen in dummy. Next
South West North East came the ♦K to East’s ace. East continued
pass pass 1 NT pass with the ♣K and then another trump to
2♣ pass 2♥ pass Jansma’s ace. Declarer now cashed ♠K
2♠ (all pass) (West pitching the ♣A), crossed to dummy
with a diamond and made the ingenious
Opening lead: ♠9 sneaky play of a low heart. When East
hopped up with the king, Jansma ruffed,
The one-night-stand partnership of played another diamond and claimed nine
Jansma-Nystrom looked to have hit the tricks. A case of “the play is mightier than
rocks when, after an off-shape 1NT opening the law”?
Bridge Today • April 2005 To subscribe, click here! page 9

The Gold Coast

by Paul Marston, Australia

The Gold Coast congress, played in Surfers from February 19 to

26, continues to go from strength to strength. There were 234 teams
in the Open, 44 in the Restricted and 62 in the Seniors.

The big stars were Michelle Brunner and John Holland of Man-
chester, England. They first won the open pairs, then they joined
with John Armstrong and Howard Melbourne of England and your
columnist to win the teams. Brunner is a former world women’s
champion. Try these two matchpoint problems:

Deal one Deal two

East deals North South deals North

Both vul ♠K N-S vul ♠ K J 10 3
♥J95 ♥K
♦9643 ♦ A Q 10
♣AJ865 ♣ J 10 9 4 2
♥7 ♣A
South (you) South (you)
♠AQJ875 ♠6
♥A32 ♥ A Q 10 9 7 6 3
♦KJ7 ♦K92
♣ 10 ♣Q5

West North East South South West North East

— — 2♥ 2♠ 1♥ 1♠ 3 NT pass
(all pass) 4♥ (all pass)

Opening lead: ♥7 Opening lead: ♣A

Dummy’s 9 is covered by the 10. What is West shifted to a low spade to the king
your plan? and ace. East returned a club to the king
and West exited with the ♠Q. Plan the
Bridge Today • April 2005 To subscribe, click here! page 10

Deal one comes from the Open Pairs. East opened with a weak two in hearts.
John Holland and John Armstrong both Holland bid two spades, Armstrong bid
found a very neat play to make nine tricks three spades and the other three players
in spades at their tables. said pass. Both Wests led the singleton heart
to the ten and ace. Eight tricks are easy by
East deals ♠K way of six trumps and two outside aces.
Both vul ♥J95 There appears to be no way of making a
♦9643 ninth because West is sitting over the dia-
♣AJ865 monds, but wait.
♠643 ♠ 10 9 2
♥7 N ♥ K Q 10 8 6 4 The two Johns set about stripping West’s
♦ A Q 10 8 5 S ♦2 exit cards before putting him on lead in dia-
♣K973 ♣Q42 monds. They played a club to the ace and
♠AQJ875 trumped a club. Next came a spade to the
♥A32 king and another club ruff. Then trumps
♦KJ7 were drawn before exiting with the ♦K.
♣ 10 The Wests took their ♦A and played their
last club, the king, but the Johns discarded a
West North East South heart. That left the Wests on play with only
— — 2♥ 2 ♠/3 ♠ diamonds. The forced diamond return set
(all pass) up declarer’s jack for the ninth trick.

Deal two ♠ K J 10 3 West led the ♣A before shifting to a low

South deals ♥K spade to the king and ace. East returned a
N-S vul ♦ A Q 10 club to the king and West exited with the
♣ J 10 9 4 2 ♠Q.
♠Q98742 ♠A5
♥J842 Brunner trumped and crossed to the
♦J87 S ♦6543 bare ♥K and made the key play of trump-
♣A K3 ♣876 ing a spade instead of returning to the ♦K.
♠6 Thanks to this play she was able to deny
♥ A Q 10 9 7 6 3 East a trump trick. When West showed out
♦K92 on the ace of trumps she crossed to the ♦Q
♣Q5 and trumped a club. Next it was a diamond
to the ace and a black winner off dummy.
South West North East East could not prevent her from making the
1♥ 1♠ 3 NT pass rest of the tricks for a total of ten.
4♥ (all pass)

Deal two features Brunner overcoming a In Depth

bad trump break by way of a trump coup. The defense can prevent the trump
This was an important result because it coup if West shifts to a trump at trick
occurred in the pairs final against the even- two. Then after a club is led to the queen
tual runners up, Mike Cornell and Ryszard and king, West leads a spade to East, who
Jedrychowski. shifts to diamonds.
Bridge Today • April 2005 To subscribe, click here! page 11

Winning Without the Hat

by Larry Cohen

A year ago at the Spring Nationals in to make (this being the last weekend of the
Reno, after years of broken promises to tournament), so instead, I vowed to Mat-
Matthew Granovetter, I finally joined him thew: “If we come back and win this match,
for a Friday night Sabbath candle-lighting I will wear your big black Chassidic hat
service (his room was next to mine in the tomorrow during the finals!” Sure enough,
hotel). After that religious experience (my we won the match, so I went to get the hat
first), David Berkowitz and I ended up win- from Matthew to wear (on VuGraph with
ning the pairs event. cameras!). My team captain thought it a bad
idea. He didn’t want any religious symbols
Hmm. I told Matthew I’d be back in his or omens to ruin our team karma. (Little did
room the following Friday night for services. he know, that it was my trip to Matthew’s
That second Friday, our team was at half- room that had us on this great roll). He for-
time in our semifinal Vanderbilt match. bade the hat, and we lost the match.
We trailed the powerful Nickell team by a
huge margin. As Matthew lit the candles, I A year later, I found myself back in the
couldn’t help but think that maybe there Vanderbilt final in Pittsburgh. Matthew
would be another miracle in the cards. was 7,000 miles away in Jerusalem, so we’d
There were no more Friday-night promises have to try to win again without the hat.

Vanderbilt Winners

Left to Right:

Mike Becker
Larry Cohen
Richie Schwartz
Andrea Buratti
David Berkowitz
Massimo Lanzarotti
Bridge Today • April 2005 To subscribe, click here! page 12

Before I get to two deals from the final, my, but on the first round RHO had played
here are two interesting hands from our the 8 (some sort of signal) and on the second
semifinal match. On the first, David and I round, LHO played the 9, so I no longer
reached 6NT on these North-South cards: needed a safety play. I played spades from
the top and when they split 3-3 I claimed
North 13 tricks for +1020. I assumed this would
♠ A K 10 6 5 be a push board (they wouldn’t bid seven at
♥94 the other table, would they?).
♣A No. The other table played a small slam,
but in clubs! Declarer won the heart lead
South and played a club. LHO followed with the
♠Q7 9. What would you do now?
♦Q6 It turns out that when the ♣9 dropped,
♣ Q 10 8 4 3 2 declarer could have played LHO for J-9
doubleton (his actual holding) but didn’t.
If spades and diamonds behave, you have After the ♣A wins, declarer can come to
13 easy tricks. I received a heart lead, so I hand and play the ♣Q to pin the now-bare
tested the diamonds first and saw everyone jack and make his slam. In retrospect, a
follow to two rounds. Now I could afford better play by West was to falsecard with
a safety play in spades (this was imps) to the jack on the first round of the suit. Then
guard against RHO holding a low singleton. declarer has to guess if it is J-9 or K-J dou-
I played the ♠Q and a spade towards dum- bleton and could more easily go wrong.

The other semifinal deal of note was: West led the top three spades, RHO
playing high-low. What should declarer do
West deals North on the third round of spades? When faced
E-W vul ♠J6 with this problem, my table opponent, Mike
♥72 Passell, found the solution. He discarded a
♦Q5 diamond from dummy. Now the defense
♣AK97542 could do nothing. Even on a trump shift,
West East declarer can ruff a diamond, take his dis-
♠ A K Q 10 4 3 ♠98 cards on the clubs, ruff a club with the ♥10
♥53 ♥J94 and draw trumps to make 420.
♦976 ♦KJ84
♣J6 ♣ Q 10 8 3 Our team lost 10 imps when, surpris-
South ingly, my expert teammate failed to find
♠752 the winning line. He ruffed the third
♥ A K Q 10 8 6 spade in dummy and East overruffed and
♦ A 10 3 2 the contract had to fail by two tricks on a
♣— trump return. I can’t give my teammate all
the blame. Had I led a trump at trick one,
At both tables, after West opened with a two or three, we could have defeated four
weak two-bid in spades, South reach 4♥. hearts.
Bridge Today • April 2005 To subscribe, click here! page 13

The Final South West North East

1♦ pass 2♦ double
Our team grabbed a huge half-time lead pass 3♥ ?
in the match. The knock-out punch (from
my point of view) was these back-to-back I had hearts stopped and the most likely
deals. First... game was 3NT, so I just bid it. What does
partner rate to have? Probably a balanced
With both vulnerable, I held: hand with four spades and a doubleton
♠ 3 2 ♥ K 9 5 ♦ A Q J 10 9 6 4 ♣ 7 heart. If he doesn’t have clubs stopped,
so be it — they will then have to find the
David opened 1♦, Precision. This right lead. Sure enough, that was the case.
showed 11-15 HCP and at least two dia- David’s hand was:
monds. RHO passed and I bid 2♦ (inverted ♠AK86 ♥J62 ♦K73 ♣J98
raise). LHO doubled for takeout. David
passed (typically indicating a weak notrump Opposite that hand, there is no game,
hand 11-13) and RHO jumped to 3♥. but I received a heart lead, the queen, and
What now? when my king won the first trick I tabled
my hand and scored +630. This was the full

♠32 East should be suspicious (usually de-

♥K95 clarer won’t play high from dummy at trick
♦ A Q J 10 9 6 4 one in such situations). Probably declarer
♣7 is afraid of a black-suit switch, but which
♠QJ5 ♠ 10 9 7 4 one? East cashed the ♥Q at trick two. Can
♥ 10 8 7 3 N ♥AQ4 West signal suit-preference? Would the low-
♦85 S ♦2 est remaining card, the ♥7, suggest a club
♣AK52 ♣ Q 10 6 4 3 switch? Or should West play the ♥10 to
♠AK86 deny the jack and make sure West at least
♥J62 shifts to something? Or maybe you prefer a
♦K73 high club lead at trick one from West? That
♣J98 would make things easy but leading the
king of the opening bid suit is a rare lead.
We can all see that East’s ♥Q lead wasn’t This has all the makings of a Switch-in-
such a good idea, but it’s easier in hind- Time column. I hope the editors give their
sight. This deal turned out to be a problem view.* Our teammates guessed wrong. West
for the defenders at the other table as well. signaled with the ♥8 and East shifted to
South started with a standard 1♣. North spades, so the board was pushed at 630.
responded 1♦, South rebid 1NT and North
raised to 3NT. West led the ♥3, a fourth- The next deal did produce a gain (and it
best heart, and declarer (in desperation) put stretched our lead to 60 imps):
up dummy’s ♥K. How should the defend-
ers figure out that they have the first seven *See page 31 for further analysis.
Bridge Today • April 2005 To subscribe, click here! page 14

North dealer North able games at imps. Again, we had no legiti-

Both vul ♠J972 mate play (best defense also beats 4♠), but
♥K87 opening leads and defense aren’t always per-
♦J82 fect. West led the ♦9 (promising the 10 and
♣A43 maybe a higher honor). I won dummy’s jack
West East and played the ♠J to trick two. East won
♠86 ♠AK4 and did not have an easy decision. Should
♥ A Q 10 ♥6543 he return his partner’s diamond suit? This
♦ 10 9 7 5 ♦63 would be necessary on many layouts (for
♣J762 ♣ Q 10 9 5 example, suppose that West holds:
South ♦A-10-9-x-x or ♦K-10-9-x-x and a side
♠ Q 10 5 3 entry). East guessed wrong and continued
♥J92 diamonds. That was all the help I needed.*
♣K8 I drove out the other spade and when
the ♥A was right, I had the timing for nine
Larry David tricks and +600. Our counterparts rested
South North sensibly in a spade partial making nine
— pass tricks for 140 and we won 10 lucky imps.
1 NT (14-16) 2 NT This built our lead to nearly 60 imps and
3 NT pass the match never got close.

We both pushed a bit, but you know *A reverse Smith echo by West would have worked.
what they say about bidding close vulner- The ♠8 says: “I don’t like my suit.” — editor

The entire first half went this way — we the formula that works so well for Meck-
kept bidding pushy vulnerable games and well: Bid every close game, period. I recall
they kept on making. David likes to go with reading in Bridge Today about the standards
the flow. If he sees that the games are not for 3NT declining each year. On the above
making, he gets conservative. Here, howev- two deals we had 22 and then 24 HCP,
er, he saw that everything was making and which seems about the norm these days. As
he became aggressive. This may not sound long as they keep making, we’d better keep
so scientific, and maybe we should all follow bidding them, hat or no hat.

Vanderbilt Runners-Up

Back row (l to r):

Samuel Cohen
Jim Krekorian
Drew Casen
Bottom (l to r):
John Onstott
Chris Compton
Jim Robison
Bridge Today • April 2005 To subscribe, click here! page 15

Oh, when the games come marching in, oh when the

games come marching in!

by Pamela Granovetter

Matthew and I like to bid games so much Lanzarotti opened 2♣, natural. Buratti
that we have almost no invitational se- bid 2♦, Stayman, and when Lanzarotti
quences in our system. We’ve written much showed four spades, Buratti jumped to
about aggressive game bidding, but never game. This decision had nothing to do with
have I witnessed a match that started off point-counting or trump-counting; it was
with so many game-bidding swings as this simply a matter of giving the ♣Q her full
year’s Vanderbilt final! Let’s look at the first due. Of course, this 21-point game (note
five boards. that three of the points, the jacks, weren’t
even needed!) was far from cold, but it
Board 1 North wasn’t terrible either (my definition of a ter-
North dealer ♠972 rible game is a game that’s down off the top,
None vul ♥Q854 but even these make on occasion).
♣94 At the other table, the bidding went:
West East
♠K653 ♠ Q 10 8 4 West North East South
♥A972 ♥J Robison L. Cohen Onstott Berkowitz
♦J8 ♦632 — pass 1♣ 1♦
♣Q87 ♣ A K J 10 3 double 3♦ pass pass
South double pass 3♠ (all pass)
♥ K 10 6 3 John Onstott opened 1♣ with the East
♦ A K 10 7 hand and David Berkowitz decided to bid
♣652 1♦ with the South cards. Jim Robison,
West, made a negative double and Larry Co-
West North East South hen preempted to 3♦, preventing East from
Buratti Compton Lanzarotti Sam Cohen showing his spades at a comfortable level
— pass 2 ♣ (1) pass (mind you, although East’s hand was light
2 ♦ (2) pass 2♠ pass in high-card points, it was getting better and
4♠ (all pass) better on the auction). Thus the thin game
was missed. First blood might have gone
(1) natural to the conservative pair had the black-suit
(2) asking for further description deuces been switched, but aggressive bid-
ding paid off and the game swing went to
the Schwartz team, ahead 6-0.
Bridge Today • April 2005 To subscribe, click here! page 16

On the next board, the Italians bid a North led the ♣4, and South put in the
robust 26-point 3NT game, but this one was jack, a cute play, maintaining communica-
more difficult to play: tion with partner. West won the king and
thought about the hand for a long time.
Board 2 North Looking at all four hands, it’s easy enough
East dealer ♠ 10 9 7 3 to play a diamond to the jack at trick two,
N-S vul ♥J3 careful not to waste the ten, then cash
♦Q8 a high diamond. When the queen falls,
♣ Q 10 8 4 2 declarer has four diamonds, three hearts
West East and one trick in each black suit, with easy
♠86 ♠AQ542 cashing transportation. Declarer, however,
♥AQ965 ♥K2 wouldn’t play that way in real life, but he
♦ 10 4 2 ♦AKJ5 did begin with diamonds — a low diamond
♣K73 ♣65 to the ace. You might think he would now
South test the hearts, but he didn’t. He did some-
♠KJ thing better.
♥ 10 8 7 4
♦9763 He played a club from dummy, because
♣AJ9 North’s fourth-best lead suggested that
clubs were either 4-4 or 5-3, so the defense
West North East South wouldn’t cash five clubs. This proved to be
Buratti Compton Lanzarotti Sam Cohen a very exciting line of play, because on the
— — 1♠ pass fourth and fifth rounds of clubs, South was
1 NT pass 2 ♣ (1) pass squeezed in three suits! Sam Cohen went up
2 ♦ (2) pass 2 ♥ (3) pass with the ♣A and returned the ♣9. On the
2 NT pass 3♦ pass fourth club, Cohen tried his best by throw-
3♥ pass 3♠ pass ing the ♠J (baring the king as early as pos-
3 NT (all pass) sible), and on the fifth club, a low diamond.
North exited with a heart, but declarer won
(1) 15+ high-card points the king in dummy and cashed the ♠A.
(2) 8+ HCP When the king fell, he played the ♠Q and
(3) any side four-card suit South was finito even if he held the ♦Q!

♠86 ♠AQ542 At the other table, Onstott and Robison

♥AQ965 ♥K2 bid to 2♠.
♦ 10 4 2 ♦AKJ5
♣K73 ♣65 Again declarer took nine tricks, but this
time it was for +140 instead of +400 and
West North East South another 6 imps went to the Schwartz team,
Robison L. Cohen Onstott Berkowitz now ahead 12-0. Perhaps East should rebid
— — 1♠ pass 2NT over 2♠.
1 NT pass 2♦ pass
2♠ (all pass)
Bridge Today • April 2005 To subscribe, click here! page 17

On Board 3 it was the Schwartz team’s The opening lead was the ♥10 and
turn to make a dainty stop in a partscore, declarer had nine tricks: two spades, two
this time with 24 HCP: hearts and five clubs.

Board 3 North In the other room, Sam Cohen (South)

South dealer ♠ 10 8 7 and Chris Compton (North) bid:
E-W vul ♥K753
♦2 South West North East
♣AKJ63 S. Cohen Buratti Compton Lanzarotti
West East 1♦ 1♥ 2♣ pass
♠932 ♠QJ64 2♦ pass 2 NT pass
♥ A 10 9 8 4 ♥2 3 NT (all pass)
♦KQ6 ♦ A 10 5 3
♣ 10 7 ♣8542 East led the ♥2 to the queen and low
South from West. At trick two, declarer called for
♠AK5 the ♥6 and West went in with the ace, to
♥QJ6 play the ♦K and a low diamond to East’s
♦J9874 ace. East switched to a spade, so that was
♣Q9 ten tricks and +430 for the Onstott team, a
gain of 7 imps.
South West North East
Berkowitz Robison L. Cohen Onstott Who should have bid game at the Co-
1 ♦* 1♥ 2♣ pass hen-Berkowitz table? (I would have bid
2 NT (all pass) game with both of their hands. Alternative-
ly, if 2NT is forcing, like I like to play, your
*Precision, 2+ diamonds system helps you avoid the trap of playing
the partscore!)

Suppose partner opens a 14-16 notrump At the first table, Larry Cohen passed.
in fourth seat. What would you do with: “To thine own self be true” I suppose, and
it’s perfectly reasonable, since his maximum
♠ K 10 9 7 combined count would be 24. The whole
♥654 deal was . . .
♣ A 10

you partner
West North East South
pass pass pass 1 NT
pass ?

Does it matter if you missed a game on

the previous board?
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Board 4 North Berkowitz received a spade lead to the

West dealer ♠ K 10 9 7 7, 8 and jack. He played a spade back,
All vul ♥654 and West went up with the ace to return
♦J962 a heart. Berkowitz now had ten tricks, for
♣ A 10 +180.
West East
♠AQ632 ♠84 At the other table the bidding went:
♥972 ♥Q83
♦Q84 ♦ K 10 3 West North East South
♣62 ♣K8753 Buratti Compton Lanzarotti Sam Cohen
South pass pass pass 1NT (15-17)
♠J5 pass 2♣ pass 2♥
♥ A K J 10 pass 2 NT pass 3 NT
♦A75 (all pass)
Obviously, it was easier for North to
West North East South make a game try opposite the 15-17 range.
pass pass pass 1 NT
(all pass) West led the ♣6 and declarer took nine
tricks, for +600 and a gain of 9 imps. The
Opening lead: ♠3 Onstott team was in the lead by a score of
16 to 12, the first and only time they held
the lead in the match.

Puzzle Corner
On the very next board, the difference in
1. What’s the smallest number of range between 14-16 and 15-17 again had
trumps your side can hold to make a an effect on the auction. Suppose you hold
slam against best defense? in second seat, at favorable vulnerability:

2. What’s the most number of “passes” ♠876

possible in one auction? ♥ A K J 10 3
♦ K 10 6 2
3. What convention spelled backwards ♣2
shows a long solid major suit?
It goes 1NT on your right. What do you
4. Assuming best declarer play, what’s do if the notrump range was 14-16? What if
the most number of tricks the defenders it’s 15-17?
can take against a suit contract, when
they (the defenders) hold zero highcard At the Cohen-Berkowitz table, where the
points? 1NT opening bid was 14-16, John Onstott
overcalled 2♥....
Solutions on page 29. Click here.
Bridge Today • April 2005 To subscribe, click here! page 19

Board 5 North At the other table, where the opening

North dealer ♠543 notrump range was 15-17, East was silent:
N-S vul ♥Q65
♦AQ9 West North East South
♣ A K 10 7 Buratti Compton Lanzarotti Sam Cohen
West East — 1 NT pass 2♣
♠ Q J 10 ♠876 pass 2♦ pass 3♣
♥9742 ♥ A K J 10 3 pass 3♦ pass 3♠
♦853 ♦ K 10 6 2 pass 4♣ pass 5♣
♣843 ♣2 (all pass)
♠AK92 After the heart lead, 5♣ needed basically
♥8 the ♦K-10 onside or the ♦K onside plus
♦J74 three spade tricks to get rid of dummy’s ♦9.
♣QJ965 If East shows up with three trump, how-
ever, declarer may play East for a doubleton
West North East South spade and doubleton diamond. He can then
Robison L. Cohen Onstott Berkowitz be stripped in spades and endplayed in
— 1 NT 2♥ double (cards) diamonds; alternatively, declarer may play
pass 2 NT pass 3 NT West for king-fifth of diamonds and four
(all pass) spades, squeezing him. As the cards were,
there was no chance, so the Schwartz team
With the ♥A-K in one hand, the con- had 12 imps and the lead.
tract was unbeatable.

This hand has nothing to do with game- Most bulldogs would bid 3NT over 2♦,
versus-partscore bidding, but the corollary but here South was worried about hearts
of aggressive game bidding is “bulldog bid- and opted for the needle-threading ap-
ding.” Bulldog bidding means bidding to proach. He was right in theory. The heart
the most likely contract, and it seems to be singleton is a legitimate worry; put North’s
a more successful philosophy than “needle- ♥Q in with his spades and North-South
threading” bidding, where you try to reach would have reached a beautiful and lay-
the most perfect contract on every hand. down 5♣ contract while 3NT is usually
doomed. This assuming East leads hearts.
Bulldog 1 Bulldog 2 (Of course, when bulldogs bid 3NT with
West North East South three small opposite a singleton, or two
— 1 NT pass 2♣ small opposite two small, the heart suit
pass 2♦ pass 3 NT ? sometimes blocks).

After this hand, it seems to me that

Berkowitz and Cohen became more bulldog
in their philosophy and, by going with the
flow — the close games were making — they
helped their team to build up a strong lead
Bridge Today • April 2005 To subscribe, click here! page 20

Russian Roulette
by Matthew Granovetter

The Final of the Women’s Olympiad Teams

Score at the two-thirds point: Russia 193, USA 164

Russia was ahead by 29 imps. There After the USA gained 2 imps on over-
were 32 boards left to decide the world tricks, the first big swing came on board 67.
championships. In the Open Room Leb- Montin had to declare 3NT against silent
edeva and Galaktionova came in for the opponents. Interestingly, it’s always more
Russians, squaring off against Steiner and difficult to declare against silent opposi-
Letizia. In the Closed Room, the USA field- tion....
ed Montin and Meyers against Ponomareva
and Gromova.

South dealer North and tried a spade to the queen. It lost to the
E-W vul ♠ 10 8 7 6 3 king. West returned a heart. Montin won
♥A92 in hand and played ♠A (diamond discard
♦KJ6 on her right) and a spade to West’s jack.
♣A8 West cleared hearts (they were 4-3-3-3).
♥3 Montin cashed two spade winners and led
South (Montin) a club to her jack for her contract. It lost to
♠AQ4 the queen (doubleton queen, ouch). West
♥ Q J 10 cashed the defenders’ fourth trick and led
♦85 a low diamond. Montin went up with the
♣ K J 10 5 4 king, losing to the ace, and back came a
diamond to the queen. Down two.
South West North East
Montin Ponomareva Meyers Gromova Declarer may have missed an interest-
1♣ pass 1♠ pass ing inference. Once West showed up with
1 NT pass 3 NT (all pass) K-J-x-x and K-x-x-x in both majors, she
was unlikely to hold the ♦A, because she
Opening lead: ♥3 had passed over 1♣. If declarer places East
with the ♦A, she can safely go up with the
There is a school of bridge that professes ♣K rather than finesse, because it protects
a raise to 2♠ promises four trump. Perhaps against West holding a doubleton queen
this explains the 1NT rebid. Montin won and loses nothing when East holds Q-x-x-x.
the heart in hand, led a club to dummy At the other table:
Bridge Today • April 2005 To subscribe, click here! page 21

South dealer North Here East led a diamond against 3NT,

E-W vul ♠ 10 8 7 6 3 which appears to put declarer at more risk
♥A92 than a heart lead, right?
♣A8 But the East-West bidding helped declar-
West East er to place the cards. North won the queen
♠KJ52 ♠9 with the king and played for four club
♥K853 ♥764 tricks and three heart tricks, leading the
♦Q43 ♦ A 10 9 7 2 ♣A and a club to the king to keep West off
♣Q7 ♣9632 lead. Hello, Dolly — 10 easy tricks, 11 imps
South to Russia, leading now by 38.
♥ Q J 10 After an overtrick to the USA on the
♦85 fourth board of the set, the USA gained 6
♣ K J 10 5 4 imps on Board 69 when Lebedeva played
Russian Roulette....
Open Room
South West North East
Lebedeva Steiner Galaktionova Letizia
1 ♣* double redouble 1♦
pass pass 3 NT (all pass)

*Polish style — weak notrump or strong hand

Board 69 North Open Room

North dealer ♠ 10 West North East South
N-S vul ♥K754 Steiner Galaktionova Letizia Lebedeva
♦A82 — 2♣ 2♠ double
♣ K J 10 9 3 4♠ pass pass double
West East (all pass)
♠KQ9862 ♠AJ543
♥93 ♥AJ2 Two clubs was natural and limited to 15
♦ J 10 9 ♦5 points and the double of 2♠ was a negative
♣64 ♣AQ82 double. South’s final double was an exam-
South ple of the “suicide is painless” convention,
♠7 offering partner the choice of minus 800 or
♥ Q 10 8 6 minus 690. North chose the latter.
♣75 At the other table, the Russian East-West
played 4♠ undoubled, so the USA was now
down by 29.
Bridge Today • April 2005 To subscribe, click here! page 22

Board 70 North the Americans collected 50 a trick, down

East dealer ♠ 10 9 3 three.
E-W vul ♥AK742
♦K32 Closed Room
♣K8 West North East South
West East Ponomareva Meyers Gromova Montin
♠KQ765 ♠2 — — 2♣ pass
♥83 ♥QJ65 2♠ 3♥ pass pass
♦A75 ♦Q6 double (all pass)
♣J42 ♣ A Q 10 7 5 3
South Here 2♠ was not forcing, and Meyers
♠AJ84 came in immediately. Ponomareva then
♥ 10 9 surprised everyone with her own Russian
♦ J 10 9 8 4 Roulette double and Gromova happily con-
♣96 verted. When this was set three tricks, the
Russians gained 8 imps and their lead went
Open Room back up to 37.
West North East South
Steiner Galaktionova Letizia Lebedeva
— — 2♣ pass
2♠ pass 3♣ pass
pass 3♥ (all pass) On the next board, both teams missed a
nice minor-suit slam and the USA gained
The 2♣ bid was natural and the 2♠ bid 2 imps for playing in 3NT rather than 5♣.
was forcing one round. When North bal- In Standard American, consider how you
anced with 3♥, the auction died out and would bid it....

West (dealer) East (responder) Here’s one possible solution: West up-
♠AK ♠7 grades that control-rich 19-count to a 2NT
♥ J 10 7 ♥A95 opening.
♦A54 ♦KQ987
♣ A K 10 7 5 ♣J862 West North East South
2 NT pass 3♠ pass
West North East South 4♣ pass 4♥
1♣ 2♠ 3♣/3♦ pass
3 NT East can then make a 3♠ bid for the mi-
nors and West will show clubs. When East
After a 1♣ opening by West, North cuebids the ♥A, West can force to slam.
jumps to 2♠. East must now underbid with
3♣ or overbid with 3♦. In either case, West
may be seduced into bidding 3NT with the
double spade stopper.
Bridge Today • April 2005 To subscribe, click here! page 23

Board 72 North West are cold for 130 in diamonds.

West dealer ♠Q9643
None vul ♥ 10 5 2 Closed Room
♦A West North East South
♣AKQ2 Ponomareva Meyers Gromova Montin
West East pass 1♠ 2♥ pass
♠ A J 10 7 ♠K5 pass double pass 3 ♣*
♥4 ♥AJ986 pass 3♥ pass 3 NT
♦ Q 10 8 5 3 2 ♦KJ97 (all pass)
♣94 ♣86
South *constructive response to the double
♥KQ73 Here Gromova (East) overcalled 2♥,
♦64 which would be set if everyone passed. But
♣ J 10 7 5 3 it was Meyers’ turn to try Russian Roulette!
She balanced with a double on a hand
Open Room better placed to double a diamond overcall
West North East South than hearts. Luckily, Montin (South) bid
Steiner Galaktionova Letizia Lebedeva 3♣ rather than 3♦.
pass 1♠ (all pass)
Meyers was not satisfied. She decided
In the Open Room, Letizia (East) re- to press her luck with a 3♥ cuebid, a try
frained from a light 2♥ overcall, facing a for 3NT. (Were there extra tricks up her
passed partner, and Lebedeva (South) decid- sleeve?) Montin was pleased to bid 3NT
ed to let the limited 1♠ opening go. Steiner with her double heart stopper and five-card
(West) did not care to join the affair with club suit. Ponomareva (West) mercifully
her strong spades and weak one-suit hand, refrained from doubling, but did lead her
so 1♠ became the final contract. After a lot diamond suit for down three. So that was
of zig-zagging, Galaktionova finished with six imps to Russia, leading at the halfway
seven tricks for +80, a nice result, since East- point of the set: 218 to 175.

Open Room

Olga Galaktionova

Carlyn Steiner Marinesa Letizia

photos by Ron Tacchi

Maria Lebedeva
Bridge Today • April 2005 To subscribe, click here! page 24

Board 73 North trump to the ace and a diamond to ruff,

North dealer ♠54 but Letizia ruffed in ahead of her. Galak-
E-W vul ♥AQJ5 tionova overruffed with the king, drew the
♦Q762 last trump, and led a spade, ducking Letizia’s
♣ A 10 8 queen. It was now a simple matter of finess-
West East ing when a spade was returned, the ♠A was
♠9 ♠ K Q 10 8 6 2 used to discard a club and there were still
♥ 10 7 ♥98 two trumps in the South hand to handle
♦ K J 10 8 5 4 3 ♦9 the two last diamonds in the North hand.
♣642 ♣Q973
South Closed Room
♠AJ73 West North East South
♥K6432 Ponomareva Meyers Gromova Montin
♦A — 1♦ 2♠ double
♣KJ5 pass 3♥ pass 3♠
pass 4♥ (all pass)
Open Room
West North East South Here Montin also doubled 2♠, though
Steiner Galaktionova Letizia Lebedeva 3♥ was available, and Meyers also bid 3♥.
— 1♣ 2♠ double In this case, however, Montin’s cuebid of
pass 3♥ pass 3♠ 3♠ was meant as a slam try in hearts. May-
pass 4♥ pass 4 NT be Meyers didn’t think so, because she rebid
pass 5♥ pass 6♥ 4♥. Montin passed, since her partner might
(all pass) hold ♠ x x ♥ Q x x x ♦ K Q x x ♣ A Q x.
Facing this hand she could be down one at
After the Polish 1♣ opening, Letizia the five level.
made a jump overcall and Lebedeva made
a negative double, since a 3♥ bid would be If North interprets 3ß as a slam try, she
nonforcing in their system. The 3♠ bid was should cuebid 4ç, because: (1) it’s under
an all-purpose cuebid, tell-me-more sort of game; (2) she has a strong trump holding;
thing, though she learned very little more and (3) she has limited her hand with a
before Blackwooding into slam. Letizia (East) non-forcing 3˙ bid. She didn’t and that
led her singleton diamond. Declarer led a meant 11 imps to Russia, with a lead of 54.

Closed Room

Jill Meyers

Tanya Ponomareva Victoria Gromova

Randi Montin photos by Ron Tacchi

Bridge Today • April 2005 To subscribe, click here! page 25

On board 75, one player from each team At one table, Meyers opened 2♠ (5-11,
had a blind spot on defense to 3NT, but five spades and five or a minor). LHO
Russia gained 2 imps on overtricks to lead doubled and Montin raised to 3♠, all pass.
by 56. On the next board the USA gained At the other table, Galaktionova opened 1♠
back 10 imps when another Russian on and Lebedeva raised to 4♠! The defenders
defense to 4♥ had a blind spot. I believe cashed two hearts and switched to clubs.
the players were getting tired or there were I won’t ask you how you play it, though I
a lot of blind spots floating around. On the think playing to set up clubs might be best.
board thereafter, Russia got back the 10 Well, the clubs were 3-3 and the diamonds
imps by bidding to a lucky 20-point vulner- were 3-3 with the king onside and the
able 4♠: spades were 3-2, so all roads led to 10 tricks.
Dummy What fun ... for the one who bid it!
♠ K 10 7
♥62 On the next one, Gromova and Ponoma-
♦AQ9753 reva bid to a hopeless 24-point 3NT and
♣J8 actually went one down, so the USA gained
5 imps, but still trailed 193 to 141 with two
Declarer boards left to the set. On Board 79, Steiner
♠AQ853 reached a close 3NT contract that was de-
♥ 10 9 feated with accurate defense, while the Rus-
♦6 sians stayed low in 2♦ at the other table
♣A9654 making 110. So 4 more imps to Russia.

On the last board of the set, the most Open Room

dramatic blind spot occurred, but first let’s West North East South
look at the Open Room, where Steiner did Steiner Galaktionova Letizia Lebedeva
everything right: 1♠ pass 2♣ pass
2♦ pass 3♦ pass
Board 80 North (Galaktionova) 4♦ pass 5♦ pass
West dealer ♠Q53 6♦ (all pass)
E-W vul ♥ J 10 8
♦ 10 9 2 Steiner and Letizia began with their two
♣ A 10 6 3 longest suits but then bid their diamonds
West (Steiner) East (Letizia) from here to Canarsie. If you know where
♠A98764 ♠— Canarsie is, you are on my wavelength.
♥2 ♥A743 Steiner won the ♥J lead in dummy, ruffed
♦AK764 ♦QJ85 a heart in hand and led a club. Galak-
♣2 ♣KQJ84 tionova ducked, a nice try, since if she
South (Lebedeva) goes up, declarer has 12 tricks on power.
♠ K J 10 2 But Steiner countered by crossruffing. She
♥KQ965 ruffed a heart and cashed the ♠A, throw-
♦3 ing dummy’s last heart. Then came a spade
♣975 ruff, club ruff, spade ruff. There were still
four top diamond honors to complete the
crossruff — 12 tricks. Well done!
Bridge Today • April 2005 To subscribe, click here! page 26

Board 80 North (Meyers) Ponomareva, the West player for Russia,

West dealer ♠Q53 was included among the fatigued.
E-W vul ♥ J 10 8
♦ 10 9 2 Ponomareva, who had put on a great
♣ A 10 6 3 performance for the Russian team, playing
West (Ponomareva) East (Gromova) every board of the final with her partner
♠A98764 ♠— Gromova, had the kind of blind spot we’ve
♥2 ♥A743 all had on occasion. My guess is that she
♦AK764 ♦QJ85 saw a card that wasn’t there. See what you
♣2 ♣KQJ84 think.
South (Montin)
♠ K J 10 2 She received the ♥J lead from Meyers
♥KQ965 (North). She won the ace and drew three
♦3 rounds of trump. It’s my guess that she
♣975 thought she had the ♣10 in dummy along
with her other nice club honors; otherwise
Closed Room how could she have drawn three rounds of
West North East South trump?
Ponomareva Meyers Gromova Montin
1♠ pass 2♣ pass She then led her ♣2. Meyers carefully
2♦ pass 3♦ pass ducked and the jack won. The crossruff was
3♥ pass 4♣ pass gone, so declarer played the ♣K and let it
4♦ pass 4♥ double ride to the ace. The hand was over and she
pass pass redouble pass had to settle for 10 tricks, down two, and a
4♠ pass 4 NT pass huge 17 imps to the USA.
5♦ pass 6♦ (all pass)

In the closed room, Ponomareva and There were 16 hands left for the world
Gromova made twice as many calls to the championships and the Russia women still
same 6♦, with six or seven cuebids along led by 35 imps. Could the USA use the
the way plus a Keycard Blackwood bid, momentum from Board 80 to make a great
wearing out everyone including the kibitz- comeback? Read all about the incredible
ers and the recorder. Luckily for the USA, finale’ in our May issue.

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Bridge Today • April 2005 To subscribe, click here! page 27

The Wizards of Aus

Hands from Australian Tournaments

by Ron Klinger

— Long suits and swindles —

Problem One Problem Two

You are West at favorable vul with: You are West at favorable vul with:
♠ A 10 8 5 3 2 ♥ 6 2 ♦ K J 10 5 ♣ 5 ♠ 5 2 ♥ 10 5 2 ♦ A K Q 7 6 ♣ 6 5 4

You You
West North East South West North East South
— — — 2 ♣* pass 2 ♥ (1) 4 ♣ (2) 5 ♦ (3)
2♠ 7♣ (all pass) pass 5 NT (4) pass 6♠
(all pass)
*artificial, very strong
(1) 5-5 majors, weak
What is your opening lead? (2) Preemptive
(3) Exclusion Keycard Blackwood, asking for key-
cards outside of diamonds
(4) Two of the six keycards (aces and major-suit

What is your opening lead?

Problem Three
You are South, all vul, with:
♠A ♥6 ♦A9 ♣AKJ987542

RHO opens a Multi 2♦ (weak two-bid in

either major). What is your call?
Bridge Today • April 2005 To subscribe, click here! page 28

The chance of picking up a nine-card solid clubs and first-round control in every
suit is about 3-in-10,000. The Summer suit, can he?
Festival of Bridge usually throws up more
than its fair share, last year three in the 496 What was not reasonable was the choice
deals in play. This article features two of of lead, a diamond. Khokan Bagchi (South)
them. On the first Avi Kanetkar pulled off was now able to pitch one spade loser on
a giant swindle in the National Open Teams the extra diamond winner, draw trumps
Round-of-16. and later finesse in hearts. If you elect not
to try the ♠A, you should lead the ♣5.
South dealer North (Kanetkar) That is likely to be the safest start and now
N-S vul ♠76 the grand slam should fail … unless East
♥5 makes a helpful discard (trying to help
♦4 partner but helping declarer instead) of the
♣AKQJ98432 ♠9! For example, suppose declarer leads out
West East seven trumps, coming down to two trump
♠ A 10 8 5 3 2 ♠94 and four other cards:
♥62 ♥ K 10 8 3
♦ K J 10 5 ♦9732 ♠76
♣5 ♣ 10 7 6 ♥5
South (Bagchi) ♦4
♠KQJ ♣32
♦AQ86 ♠ A 10 ♠—
♣— ♥— W E ♥ K 10 8 3
♦ K J 10 5 ♦97
South West North East ♣— ♣—
2 ♣ (1) 2♠ 7 ♣ (2) (all pass) ♠—
(1) artificial, very strong ♦AQ
(2) one of Canberra’s nine-card suits ♣—

West naturally thought that Kanetkar East should keep four hearts and two
had to be void in spades and so he did not spades. But what if East throws the ♠9 and
start with the ♠A. Declarer made 7♣. How ♠4 along the way to help partner with the
did that come about? At first glance it was spade count? Declarer finesses hearts, cashes
reasonable for West to shun the spade lead. the ace, throwing a spade, and ruffs a heart.
You have to assume the 7♣ bid is rational. Then on the last trump South throws his
But deeper thought would tell you that the heart and West is squeezed in spades and di-
7♣ bid cannot possibly be rational, regard- amonds. East must keep the ♠9 to prevent
less of what North holds. He can’t hold partner from being squeezed.

Another piece of larceny bore fruit for

Valerie Cummings on this deal from Stage 2
of the National Women’s Teams:
Bridge Today • April 2005 To subscribe, click here! page 29

West dealer North (Feitelson) After 2♥-4♣ Valerie Cummings pro-

N-S vul ♠ K 10 9 4 3 duced the psychic 5♦ Exclusion Keycard
♥KJ964 ask. You can see her reasoning. With 5-5 at
♦J43 least in the majors, North has at most three
♣— minor-suit cards. If you can avoid a dia-
West East mond lead, slam will be there if partner has
♠52 ♠J8 the two major-suit kings.
♥ 10 5 2 ♥7
♦AKQ76 ♦985 The match was played with screens. West
♣654 ♣ Q J 10 8 7 3 2 and North (Candice Feitelson) were on the
South (Cummings) same side of the screen. At the end of the
♠AQ76 auction, West asked, “What does 5♦ mean?”
♥AQ83 Reply: “Exclusion Blackwood. Void in
♦ 10 2 diamonds and asking for key cards outside
♣AK9 diamonds.” West: “Really?” North: “That’s
what it shows. I don’t care. Go ahead and
West North East South lead a diamond.” After some thought West
pass 2 ♥ (1) 4 ♣ (2) 5 ♦ (3) led a club, +1430 to North-South.
pass 5 NT (4) pass 6♠
(all pass) It could hardly hurt to lead a top dia-
mond. That would not set up any tricks
(1) 5-5 majors, weak for declarer. On seeing dummy, a second
(2) Preemptive. Usually a jump over a preempt is diamond winner would be obvious. With
strong, but in this case it makes sense that it’s pre- North 5-5 in the majors, if South were void
emptive. in diamonds, East would have five dia-
(3) Exclusion Keycard Blackwood, asking for key- monds. That is improbable in view of the
cards outside of diamonds pre-emptive jump to 4♣. In addition, it was
(1) Two of the six keycards (aces and major-suit obvious that South was prepared for a club
kings) lead. You can fool some of the people all of
the time....

Puzzle Corner (from page 18 - click here)

1. Four, the AKQJ in one hand. ♥AKQ
2. 214 ♦ A K Q 10
3. Stayman ♣ A K Q J 10 9
4. Nine. See the diagram to the right. ♠ 10 9 8 7 ♠65432
West leads a heart against South’s 6♠ ♥65432 W E ♥—
♦— S ♦65432
contract. East returns a diamond. Declarer
scores four tricks. But exchange East-West’s ♣8765 ♣432
red deuces and there are no ruffs, so the ♠AKQJ
hand would match puzzle question #1, ♥ J 10 9 8 7
where South scores a slam in spades with ♦J987
only four cards in trumps. ♣—
Bridge Today • April 2005 To subscribe, click here! page 30

In our third problem what did you bid What should South do over 2♦? [See box
with your nine-card club suit? below.] As you would not expect a trump
loser, South needs only a little more than an
East dealer ♠Q86 ace and a useful king from partner’s hand
Both vul ♥AK7 to make 13 tricks. To jump to 6♣ gives up
♦Q763 a fair chance for a grand slam. John Lester’s
♣Q63 start looks more attractive. At this vulner-
♠972 ♠ K J 10 5 4 3 ability East-West might not be too eager to
♥J5432 ♥ Q 10 9 8 sacrifice.
♦KJ52 ♦ 10 8 4
♣ 10 ♣— Once North offered 3NT over 3♥, what
♠A was the rush to jump to 6♣? Gabi Lorentz
♥6 did well to push to 7♣. Some might simply
♦A9 pass 6♣. If 4NT over 3NT would be Black-
♣AKJ987542 wood, that would be fine. If not, South
should bid 4♣ (forcing). He would receive
Lorentz Lester a 4♥ cuebid. At this point he could bid 4♠
West North East South (cue), and after North’s 5♥ cue, bid 7♣ or
— — 2 ♦* double 7NT without any guesswork.
3♥ 3 NT pass 6♣
pass 7♣ (all pass) Guesswork: Partner’s standard approach
to bidding.
*Multi 2♦

Anti-editor’s box

This reminds me of the hand of Ralph Cohen from a Vanderbilt match in Pitts-
burgh, which was published last week in our daily email column. His son, Jordan, held
eight solid spades after a weak 2♥ opening:

West dealer North (Jordan) West North East South

None vul ♠ A K Q J 10 8 5 2 2♥ double pass 3♦
♥ J 10 pass 3♥ pass 3 NT
♦A pass 6 NT (all pass)
West East Opening lead: ♥K
♠6 ♠7
♥KQ9765 ♥32 This was the Cohens’ auction for a
♦J75432 ♦98 push board, but I prefer a simple 4NT
♣— ♣ Q 10 7 6 5 4 3 2 Blackwood for this hand, then an old-
South (Ralph) fashioned 5NT for kings. In the Aus-
♠943 trailian hand, I think Blackwood works
♥A84 even better! — Pamela G.
♦ K Q 10 6
♣ J98
Bridge Today • April 2005 To subscribe, click here! page 31

Switch in Time Forum

North (Krekorian) This point is important. If declarer held,

♠32 for example, the ♠A and ♣K, he probably
♥K95 would have played low from dummy at
♦ A Q J 10 9 6 4 trick one.
West (Schwartz) East (Becker) Becker: “Assuming declarer has not erred,
♠QJ5 ♠ 10 9 7 4 that marks partner with either the:
♥ 10 8 7 3 ♥AQ4 1) ♠A-Q-J and I must lead spades imme-
♦85 ♦2 diately;
♣AK52 ♣ Q 10 6 4 3 2) ♣A-K doubleton and I must shift to
South (Casen) clubs right away;
♠AK86 3) ♠A-Q-J-x and I can cash the ♥Q, look
♥J62 at his spot and shift to spades; or
♦K73 4) ♣A-K-x-(x) or ♣A-J-x-(x) and I can
♣J98 cash the ♥Q and then lead the ♣10 or ♣Q.

South West North East “Partner would lead a higher heart than
1♣ pass 1♦ pass the deuce if he had the ♠A-Q-J-x. So he
1 NT pass 3 NT (all pass) cannot have the ♠A-Q-J-x.

Opening lead: ♥3 (fourth best) “Playing partner for the ♠A-Q-J is re-
mote compared to the possibilities in clubs.
In his article (page 11) about the second Therefore, the correct play at trick two is
quarter of the Vanderbilt final, Larry Cohen the ♣10. It is wrong to lead the queen, be-
poses the question: How can East find the cause partner may overtake with A-K-x, not
club shift after a heart is led to the king and knowing I have the ♥Q, or partner could
ace? have the ♣A-K tight.

At the table, Casen (South) called for “On this hand, it goes: ♣10-jack-king.
the ♥K at trick one, and Becker won the Partner may not be sure whether to con-
ace. He next cashed the ♥Q and Schwartz tinue clubs or revert back to hearts, but no
followed with the 8. Becker then switched matter, I have him covered either way. And
to the ♠10 and declarer claimed. We asked if partner has ♣A-K tight (and declarer has:
Mike Becker what his thoughts were.... ♠ A K Q ♥ J x x ♦ K x ♣ J 9 x x x), part-
ner should cash the ♣A and revert back to
Becker: “Declarer has played the ♥K, hearts.
suggesting, because I have the ♥Q, that we
may have five fast tricks to cash if we know “If I cash the ♥Q, I give up on beating
where they are.” the hand when partner has the ♠A-Q-J or
Bridge Today • April 2005 To subscribe, click here! page 32

♣A-K tight. For what it’s worth (it ain’t of the ♥K at trick one! Partner cannot have
worth much), cashing the ♥Q alerts partner ♥J-8-7-3 in hearts and an unsupported ace,
that we have a chance to take three more because declarer would not rise with the
fast tricks. Partner will know I have only a ♥K. But if I am right that partner would
point or two more in my hand, because the not lead a low heart with the ♠A-Q-J-x, I
declarer, Casen, is a sound opening bidder.” can actually close my eyes and lead the ♣10
regardless of what he plays on my queen!
North (Krekorian)
♠32 “The bad news is that my return of the
♥K95 spade ten was wrong, especially when part-
♦ A Q J 10 9 6 4 ner played the ♥8 rather than the 10. The
♣7 good news is that we won the Vanderbilt
West (Schwartz) East (Becker) anyway, and my error created some interest-
♠QJ5 ♠ 10 9 7 4 ing discussions in bridge magazines.”
♥ 10 8 7 3 ♥AQ4
♦85 ♦2 Switch-in-Time Wavelengths
♣AK52 ♣ Q 10 6 4 3 Becker’s analysis is unique, because it in-
South (Casen) cludes the assumption of why declarer went
♠AK86 up with the ♥K. Playing Switch-in-Time
♥J62 signals, however, may make life easier, on
♦K73 the theory that your signal will be the same
♣J98 regardless of what declarer is doing.

South West North East Here are our thoughts.

1♣ pass 1♦ pass (1) We would have led the ♠Q to begin
1 NT pass 3 NT (all pass) with and so much for beating 3NT!

Opening lead: ♥3 (fourth best) (2) If we chose a heart lead, we’d prob-
ably lead the ♥8 from the poor suit, and
Having failed to shift to clubs at trick now East must play two rounds to get his
two, Becker did the next best thing by signal (the 3, suit-preference).
cashing the ♥Q. Schwartz’s 8 was not clear
to Becker. Schwartz meant it as discourag- (3) After the ♥3 lead, Becker’s analysis
ing. They play upside-down attitude, and is perfect, but even if he chose to cash the
Schwartz viewed the 7 as encouraging a ♥Q, we would signal with the ♥7 as a suit-
heart continuation. Becker did not.... preference for clubs.

Becker: “What should partner play on (4) The problem from West’s angle was:
my ♥Q? There is no obvious shift, as both What card should he play at trick two if
spades and clubs look equally possible. he held ♥J-8-7 remaining? Normally you
Therefore, it appears that partner should follow up the line and expect partner to
give suit-preference (what I need to know), continue. Playing Switch-in-Time methods,
to tell me what suit to play. Partner will however, you must play suit-preference
know that I know we have three winners regardless and stay on the same wavelength
outside of hearts, because of declarer’s play with partner. This is a good lesson!