Goren on Bridge

Orlando Sentinel - - OBITUARIES - With Bob Jones

To­day’s deal fea­tures an­other one of the USA’s great play­ers. Chip Mar­tel, from the San Francisco area, was South. As of­ten hap­pens in mod­ern tour­na­ment bridge, two min­i­mum hands, bid­ding ag­gres­sively, end up in a fi­nal con­tract that is too high for their com­bined as­sets. Some­times, how­ever, there is a way to bring it home.

Mar­tel held up on the jack of spades at trick one, as well as the king of spades con­tin­u­a­tion. East was able to con­tinue, in­tel­li­gently, with his low spade, know­ing that his part­ner held the 10. He knew his part­ner had three spades from the lead. Had West started with the nine-eight- four of spades, he would have played the nine on the sec­ond round. When he fol­lowed with the eight, East knew that he held the 10.

Mar­tel won the third spade and had to de­cide whether to go af­ter hearts or di­a­monds. He chose hearts and was re­warded when that suit split 3-3. On the run of the hearts, East could only af­ford one club dis­card, so he had to part with the eight of di­a­monds. Af­ter the hearts were fin­ished, Mar­tel led a club to his queen, win­ning the trick. He next led a di­a­mond to dummy’s king. This lost to East’s ace, but the best East could do was to cash his queen of spades be­fore lead­ing a club. Mar­tel re­peated the club fi­nesse and had nine tricks. Nicely played!

North-South vul­ner­a­ble, North deals

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