Monday, October 21, 2002

The holiday season is approaching

Spade A J 8 7 5 4
Diamond A 8 4 3
Club 8 4 2
Spade K 10
Heart 8 7 6 4 2
Diamond J 10 7
Club J 7 6
Spade Q 9 6 3 2
Heart A 5 3
Diamond 9 5
Club A 9 3
Heart K Q J 10 9
Diamond K Q 6 2
Club K Q 10 5

Dealer: West
Vulnerable: East-West
South West North East
Pass Pass Pass
1 Pass 1 Pass
4! Pass Pass Pass
Opening lead: J

     With Christmas only two months away, thoughts turn to gifts for loved ones and friends. So, over the next few weeks, let's look at some suitable items for a bridge player.
     David Bird and Nikos Sarantakos have written Famous Bridge Records (Cassell). The book contains 27 world-record deals, found after the authors had spent “Countless hours ... scouring world championship books, tournament bulletins and bridge magazines from around the world.”
     This deal occurred during the U.S.A.-Venezuela match in the 1987 Venice Cup world championship. Judi Radin, playing South for the gold-medal U.S. team, rebid an imaginative four hearts. When the defenders never attacked spades, Radin used dummy's diamond ace and diamond eight as entries to play twice toward her club king-queen, losing tricks only to East's two aces. (Could the contract have been defeated?)
     At the other table, East opened one spade in third seat. South made a takeout double, and North passed for penalties. Not fancying that, East redoubled for rescue. West ran to two hearts, which South happily doubled. West won only three tricks (two hearts and the club ace) for minus 1,400. In a way, the 5-0 fit played eight tricks better than the 5-3. However, is this really a record?
     To defeat four hearts, West must lead the spade ten! This negates the power of dummy's spade jack (which is relevant if West leads the spade king) and allows the defenders to tap declarer to death.
     The book is $15.50 postpaid from Baron Barclay Bridge Supplies. Call (800) 274-2221 to order.

© Copyright 2002, Newspaper Enterprise Assn.