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Italian Teams Clubs Championships 2010

 

Champion: Associato Allegra

(Photo´s source: FIGB)

COME OUT WITH YOUR HANDS UP!!! by Jim Gordon.

 

 The recent Italian Teams Clubs Championships gave BBO vugraph spectators the chance to see four great pairs slug it out, head-to-head, for an extended match.  Five of the six segments featured:

 

 Duboin-Sementa vs Helgemo-Helness and Bocchi-Madala vs Fantoni-Nunes. 

 

 That Allegra pulled out a 1-IMP victory over Angelini on the final board of the match was icing on a very rich cake.

 

 The second board of the match provided one of the more interesting layouts that we’ve seen in quite a while: 

 

 Sitting West, you hold:  A 9 8 4 2  J 8 5 4   9 6   6 5

 

 Partner opens 1 and RHO overcalls 1NT.  You call 2, Mitchell Stayman for the Majors.  LHO jumps to 3NT, ending the auction.

 

 Your lead…  (Would you change your choice if we revealed that there’s only one card that leaves declarer no counter?)

 

 Helgemo chose the 9 and dummy hit with: 

 

K T 6 5
K 9 3
5 2
J T 4 2

A 9 8 4 2
J 8 5 4
9 6
6 5

 

 

 Declarer let this ride around to his Queen,  (Partner playing the 3) and played the 7 to the T in dummy (Partner discarding the 7).  Next came the 2 – 4 – J – 6 and the J to your Ace (Partner discarding the 9). You’re back in the spotlight, and again there’s only one card that leaves the defense in control…

 

 

K
K 9 3
5
J T 4 2

8 2
J 8 5 4
6
6 5

 

 

 After long thought, Helgemo chose the J, which wasn’t the needed card, but which left Madala unsure of the position of the T.  When he chose to play Helgemo for that card (and ran the Heart to the Queen in his hand), he could no longer come to nine tricks.

 

 The full layout:

 

K T 6 5
K 9 3
5 2
J T 4 2

A 9 8 4 2
J 8 5 4
9 6
6 5

3
A T 6
A Q 7 4 3
K 9 8 7

 

Q J 7
Q 7 2
K J T 8
A Q 3

 

 The hand is (overly) rich in complexities.  From the auction, Declarer can be reasonably sure that the Major-suit Aces are split between the two defenders.  To succeed, Declarer needs Dummy entries.  His initial plan is to lead Diamonds twice, but he may adjust this as the distribution is revealed.  On this layout, or if East held the A doubleton, the winning play at Trick 1 is the T from Dummy.  The only holding to which that loses is if East held the A singleton.  (All of which helps explain Helgemo’s choice of spot card for his lead.)

 

 As for the winning lead/shift, fans of Kelsey (as well as of old-time crime movies) might have recognized the fascinating variation on a surround play represented by the 8. 

 

 The complete (and totally unlikely) winning line on the lead of the 9 is T, to the Jack, Q ducked all around, Q.  If West takes the Ace and returns a Spade, Declarer wins the King and East has no good pitch:

 

 

6
K 9 3
5
J 10 4

8 2
J 8 5 4
6
5


A 10 6
A Q 7
K 9 8

 

Q J 7
Q 7 2
K J 10 8
A Q 3

 

 If East pitches a Heart, Declarer leads a small Heart from Dummy.  If East plays low, he’ll be end-played when Declarer ducks the second round of Hearts.  If East rises with the Ace and exits with a Heart, the third round of Hearts will leave Declarer in Dummy and force another pitch from East.

 

 If East pitches a second Club, Declarer leads a Club honor from Dummy.  East must duck else Declarer has three tricks in Clubs, ending in Dummy.  After East ducks, Declarer reverts to Diamonds and East will be thrown in to lead from his Heart holding.

 

 If East pitches a third Diamond, Declarer leads Dummy’s remaining Diamond and East will be end-played.

 

 If West ducks the Q, Declarer overtakes in Dummy and leads another Diamond to again threaten an end-play.) 

 

 Jim Gordon (foto source: Peg Kaplan)

 September, 2010