NOT ONLY TRICK ONE, BUT ALSO TRICK TWO
To end the week, the defense that won the Richard Freeman Junior Deal of the Year award from the International Bridge Press Association. First, look only at the West hand and the auction. What would you have led against three spades?
South's bidding was a tad undisciplined. The Law of Total Tricks advises against bidding to the three-level with only an eightcard fit (unless you have a double fit). Here, three diamonds would have been defeated if South had cashed two spades, then shifted to a low club.
The deal occurred during the World Youth Teams Championship in Italy, in the last session of the Youngsters (under 20) final between Italy and the Netherlands. The match went to Italy, but this was the most interesting deal.
At the other table, the Italian West led the diamond ace (as would we all), then switched to the spade 10 ... too late. South won in his hand, gave up a diamond trick, took the next spade with his nine and ruffed his last diamond on the board. Shortly thereafter, South lost only one heart, two diamonds and one club.
Somehow, Leen Stougie (West) found an initial trump lead. Declarer won with his nine and led a diamond. West took the trick with his king and played his last trump. South won that in his hand and led another diamond. West played the jack, and East, Marc Stougie (Leen's brother), overtook with his queen to lead a third trump. Now the defenders had to get one heart, three diamonds and one club to defeat the contract. Clairvoyant!