ACES ON BRIDGE
While the ACBL has an active junior bridge program, Silicon Valley Youth Bridge (SIVY Bridge), co-founded by Debbie Rosenberg, is one of the most successful youth bridge programs in the U.S. right now. Recently, SIVY Bridge held two weeklong Summer Camps, and the SIVY Youth NABC Sponsorship Program helped 14 Bay Area kids attend the Youth NABC in Chicago. For more information, check out their website: www.siliconvalleyyouthbridge.org. The other night, one of my correspondents had the pleasure of playing an online team match against two camp participants, brothers Brent and Rory Xiao, aged 14 and 11, respectively. They’ve clearly been excelling in SIVY Bridge (as well as the USBF Junior training program), because they played very well throughout the match. Here, declarer Rory Xiao played three no-trump on the lead of the club nine to the ace. East accurately shifted to a low heart, which went to the queen. Back came a heart to the king, also ducked by South. Now came a third heart, won by South, with a diamond discard from dummy.
Rory cashed the club kingjack, led a diamond to the ace, then took the club queen, squeezing East out of a spade, since he had to preserve the diamond king and his fourth heart (or declarer would set up a diamond winner). With East down to just three spades, Rory took the spade finesse and cashed out the suit for nine tricks. Note that if declarer takes the heart ace prematurely, East can defeat the game by discarding a blocking heart on the fourth club.