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Broward Team Wins in Miami Beach

  by Richard Pavlicek

Congratulations to the Broward County squad of Erwin Cutler, Sylvia Weiner, Marge Pecoraro and Ellen Peltz which won the team event last weekend at the Reynolds Memorial Sectional Tournament held at the Marco Polo Hotel in Miami Beach. They compiled a record of 6 3/4 wins (out of a possible 8) to top a strong field of competitors. The annual tourney is held in memory of the late Robert Reynolds, one of Florida’s greatest players.

Today’s deal, although not from the winners, occurred in the same event and provides a good lesson in technique. South opened with two spades, a weak two-bid showing a six-card suit and 5 to 11 HCP. (The strong two-bid is almost obsolete among tournament players because it rarely occurs.) North might have attempted to place the contract in notrump, but the raise to four spades was quite reasonable.

4 S South
None Vul
H K Q 10
D A 10 9 6 2
C A Q 7 2


4 S

2 S
S 8 2
H 7 5 4 2
D Q J 8 5 3
C 10 4
TableS K 10 7 3
H A J 6 3
D 7 4
C K 8 5

Lead: D 5
S A Q 9 6 5 4
H 9 8
C J 9 6 3

After West’s lead of the diamond five, declarer won the king and led a heart to the king — a good play because, if it wins, declarer can discard his remaining heart on the diamond ace and then concentrate on losing no more than three tricks in the black suits. Unfortunately, East won the ace and returned a diamond, South discarding a club, as West’s jack forced the ace. The spade jack won the next trick when East ducked, and a diamond was ruffed in the closed hand as East threw a club.

Declarer’s play was perfect so far; but he next tried the heart finesse, losing to East’s jack, and the contract no longer could be made. It looks better to try the club finesse, however, this too is an error. Declarer instead should play to win all of his trumps by ruffing — on the surface a formidable task, but actually very easy because of the known diamond position. Lead a club to the ace; ruff a diamond (If East ruffs, overruff, cash the trump ace and concede a club); heart to the queen; and ruff the last diamond.

Finally, exit with a club and South must win two more tricks with the A-Q of trumps.

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© 1986 Richard Pavlicek