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Local Player Outshines Omar Sharif

  by Richard Pavlicek

The Epson Worldwide Bridge Contest held on Friday, June 9, drew about 100,000 entrants at more than 1,000 sites around the globe. All participants played 24 deals, each with predetermined scoring based on a 100 top. The overall winner was a pair from Poland; second place went to Australia; and third to Canada (Nova Scotia).

Rich Waugh and Melba Pickvale of Ft. Lauderdale came up with one of the best local scores of 68.9 percent. Waugh demonstrated some sparkling technique on today’s deal (No. 8 in the booklet), winning 12 tricks with no help from the defense. His accurate play punched a hole in the analysis of Omar Sharif, who stated that only 11 tricks could be made. Oh, well; I’d like to see Rich Waugh play Dr. Zhivago.

4 S South
None Vul
S 7 2
H A J 6 3 2
D 3
C A K 10 9 7
1 H
2 C
3 C
4 S
1 S
2 D
3 S
S J 9 8 5
H 10 9 8 5
D K 6
C Q 8 4
TableS K
H K Q 4
D J 10 9 8 7 2
C 6 5 3

Lead: H 10
S A Q 10 6 4 3
H 7
D A Q 5 4
C J 2

Waugh, South, became declarer in four spades after an auction that appeared to be a misfit. It is instructive to note the order of suit bidding: North’s hearts-clubs-clubs indicated five-five shape; South’s spades-diamonds-spades indicated six-four shape. This latter knowledge allowed North to raise with a doubleton.

West led the heart 10, won by the ace, then a spade was led; king, ace. East’s card was an omen of the bad trump break, and Waugh took full advantage. He continued with a club to the ace; heart ruff; club king (no finesse); then another heart ruff, felling the king. Next came the diamond ace; diamond ruff; heart jack (discarding a diamond); and a club ruff as West helplessly followed suit.

At this juncture, South remained with the queen-10 in spades and a diamond; West held J-9-8 in spades. Declarer simply led his diamond which West had to ruff. The forced spade return gave declarer the last two tricks.

[Addendum 6-27-09. “Melba Pickvale” was an anagram. Even my wife, Mabel, thought it was funny at the time; but after 20 years it seems right to set the record straight. Well done, my love!]

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© 1989 Richard Pavlicek