In the USA2 finals, a sort of repechage for Nickell who had been defeated in the USA1 trials, Katz for Nickell found a nice underlead of an Ace to defeat a well-bid 5D in a competitive auction. The auction was well-judge by both sides, north doing very well to introduce Diamonds as a playing spot. 5H having no chance.
Sunday, June 9, 2013
Saturday, June 8, 2013
Here, Rosenberg chose to lead the HA, certainly reasonably. Kranyak ruffed the HJ continuation, drew trump in three rounds, played one more looking at discards, crossed to hand in clubs, ruffed a small heart to find the HK drop, and claimed.
Barnet Shenkin, that great analyst, observed that on most leads, you can make on a trump squeeze. The plan is to win, play a small heart. while trumping one small heart, arrive at the end position with S:Txx H:void D:xx opp H:Qx S:AK On the penultimate trump, North is trump squeezed, being unable to hold on to both two hearts and QJx of spades.
Double dummy the lead to beat the trump squeeze is a high spade. Thus, a patzer will beat the slam but a world champion will not.
In the USBC finals 1, Kranyak, playing four-handed had a near insurmountable lead of about 100 IMP over redoubtable Fleischer after five rounds of eight. This board arose when Willenken-Rosenberg bid to 3NT.
BBO vugraph commentator said that Willenken took his time before playing to trick one, always a splendid idea. Here, he played the Q, covered and won with the Ace.
Trick two, Jack of diamonds ducked, trick three, diamond to the Ten, East winning.
Willenken's kill-point arose when East played a middle heart away from the ten. He rose to the occasion, by playing small ( a curious mixed metaphor there!). Put yourself in Kranyak's shoes after he wins HK.
Kranyak, proven to be one of the game's greatest players, having pitched near shutouts of great teams such as Nickell, was at the killpoint here. The threat of course was that declarer's tricks in diamonds and spades were ready, but the lurking danger was that Hearts were already set up for 3 hearts. Counter-intuitive as it is to run three clubs in view of a "guaranteed protected King of clubs", it was the double-dummy play here. When he returned a heart, Willenken put the finishing touches to a well-played hand by crossing to diamonds and taking the spade finesse against the spade bidder and earning nine tricks.
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- Ramesh Abhiraman
- Bridge expert for 20 years. I started blogging about bridge only in 2009. Chess follower. Problem fan. Studied hundreds of composition themes in two-movers, fairy chess, the former from the Good Companion era to the modern style of virtual play. Big collector of chess and bridge rare books. My two game blogs bridge blog, and my chess problem themes blog chess expo