BRIDGE

The Weekend Australian - Travel - - Front Page -

THE In­ter­na­tional Bridge Press As­so­ci­a­tion an­nounced its an­nual awards last week. The de­clarer play of the year went to Steve We­in­stein (US) for his per­for­mance on deal one, from this year’s Cavendish In­vi­ta­tional in Las Ve­gas, re­ported by Phillip Alder (US). It fea­tures We­in­stein en­gag­ing in a poker-like joust with Brad Moss, who was sit­ting East.

West led the six of hearts, We­in­stein let­ting Moss hold the trick with his queen. Moss shifted to the di­a­mond eight, which ran to dummy’s 10. We­in­stein had his con­tract for sure, so long as he made five tricks from spades. He there­fore led the queen of spades from dummy.

Just about ev­ery East will take the king without see­ing an al­ter­na­tive, but that is the end of de­clarer’s prob­lems. He has his five spade tricks and his con­tract.

But Moss did not take his king of spades; he smoothly played the nine.

We­in­stein had to guess who had the king. He re­turned to hand with the ace of di­a­monds and played his last spade. If he guessed to fi­nesse the jack he would have gone four down, but he cor­rectly di­vined to rise with the ace and drop Moss’s king.

The best bid hand of the year went to English twins Stu­art and Ger­ald Tredin­nick, re­ported by Heather Dhondy (Eng­land). What is it about Eng­land and twins? One of their best pairs right now is twins, Ja­son and Justin Hack­ett, and in the 1960s it was the Sharples twins, also English, who led the world in bid­ding. West 2 all pass North 2 East pass South 3NT

One no-trump was 14-16 high card points. Ger­ald’s three-club bid was nat­u­ral and forc­ing, im­ply­ing four hearts, and when he bid four hearts, that was also nat­u­ral, stress­ing the qual­ity of the suit.

He fol­lowed this up with 5NT, ask­ing Stu­art to pick a slam, and six hearts was cho­sen.

This re­ally is a good-qual­ity slam, giv­ing the op­tion of es­tab­lish­ing clubs by tak­ing ruffs in the hand with short trumps, and he didn’t re­ally want the clubs to be 3-3, since that meant other in­fe­rior slams such as six clubs or 6NT would also be mak­ing.

How­ever, since slam was missed at the other ta­ble, they gained 10 use­ful in­ter­na­tional match points any­way. Paul Marston

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