Shangai hands (2) - Only Piotr found it

The reigning champions, Italy, lost narrowly their 2nd round match to Poland, which cannot be considered an upset but still shows that the Polish team, after some relatively lacklustre performances in the immediate past, may make its comeback to the very high echelons this time. At this board, Piotr Gawrys was the only Vugraph declarer to bring home a game

Brd 1    Q9542
South    8762
None     3
J763              AK8
QJ3            KT954
AQ42             KT86
63                5
Fantoni          Nunes

 W   N   E   S
 P   1D  1H  5C
 P   P   P       

1C was Polish, I guess and 1D was negative but almost all roads here lead to 5C, usually doubled -although not here. A club lead makes it impossible to make the game even double-dummy, but Fulvio Fantoni led the queen of hearts, as did many other defenders. Now declarer has a chance to make it, provided he finds the correct move. The obvious continuation is a diamond. but declarer should see that, unless playing against close relatives, he will never be able to ruff all his diamonds in the dummy, hence he has to try and establish spades. Hence.... hence, Piotr Gawrys played the 10 of spades at trick 2! Nunes won and immediately shifted to a trump but declarer was in control; he won at the dummy, ruffed another spade and, thanks to the friendly lie of the suit, made his game. Lucky lie perhaps, but this was the only chance.

I hate to say it, but a lot of big names like Rodwell or Chagas went down despite receiving the heart lead, because they started on diamonds. Note also that at the other table of this match Cristof Martens was the only defender to lead a trump against 5C, the lead that guarantees defeat. Norberto Bocchi went down 2 doubled and this was 12 imps to Poland.

Nikos Sarantakos

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2007 Nikos Sarantakos