The Reporter (Lansdale, PA) - - YOUR DAILY BREAK - by Phillip Alder

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!

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