Goren bridge: Problem solved

November 23, 2023 01:52 pm | Updated 01:52 pm IST

South had a completely balanced hand with honors in every suit. This caused him to bypass his four-card spade suit to bid two no trump. Bidding one spade would have led to a final contract of four spades. That contract would have been unbeatable thanks to the fortunate location of the ace of diamonds and the doubleton queen of spades.

Three no trump seems like a solid contract for the same reasons. West can set up his club suit easily enough, with a club to the king, a club back to the ace, and a third club. The problem is that West has no entry to the club suit and the defense will only take two club tricks.

Today’s deal in from World Championship play some years ago. East was Nino Masucci, from Italy. There have been many famous Italian players over the years but Masucci is not so well known. He solved this defensive problem brilliantly by playing his two of clubs at trick one! Declarer won with his queen and crossed to dummy with the ace of hearts. A diamond from dummy saw Masucci rise with his ace and lead the king of clubs. West overtook this with his ace, gobbling up dummy’s jack at the same time, and ran four more club tricks for down two. Lovely defense!

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