Last board of a marathon

Porterville Recorder - - HEALTH -


The fi­nal of the 1983 Ber­muda Bowl world team cham­pi­onship in Stock­holm was a marathon 176 boards be­tween Italy (Gior­gio Bel­ladonna-ben­ito Garozzo, Dano De Falco-ar­turo Franco and Lorenzo Lau­ria-carlo Mosca) and the United States (Michael Becker-ron­nie Ru­bin, Bob Ham­man-bobby Wolff and Alan Son­tag-peter We­ich­sel).

With this board to be played, the Amer­i­cans were ahead by 3 in­ter­na­tional match points be­cause, on the pre­vi­ous deal, Bel­ladonna and Garozzo had had a bid­ding mis­un­der­stand­ing and reached six spades off two aces.

One ta­ble fin­ished well ahead of the other. Mosca (North) and Lau­ria had reached three no-trump after North opened one strong club, and South re­sponded one no-trump, calling his hand bal­anced. De­clarer had guessed well to cash the di­a­mond ace, and had taken one spade, two hearts, four di­a­monds and two clubs.

In the given auc­tion, We­ich­sel (North) also opened with an ar­ti­fi­cial one club, show­ing 16 points or more. Son­tag (South) jumped to two di­a­monds, promis­ing at least a five-card suit and 8 points. North then used two ask­ing bids, learn­ing that South had 2=2=5=4 dis­tri­bu­tion and 8-10 points. What did North do next?

North knew of a dou­ble fit in the mi­nors, but the nu­mer­ous spec­ta­tors could see that five of ei­ther mi­nor was doomed.

After an age, We­ich­sel passed out three no-trump. But might Son­tag lose two di­a­mond tricks? No, he started with the ace, and when East dis­carded a club on the run of the di­a­monds, South took 11 tricks. The United States had won by 413 imps to 408.

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