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Dallas Team To Represent U.S.

  by Richard Pavlicek

A Dallas based team consisting of Malcolm Brachman (captain), Ron Andersen, Bob Hamman, Bob Wolff, Bob Goldman, and Paul Soloway won the right to represent the U.S. in the 1984 World Championships.

In a play-off held May 3-6 in Memphis the Brachman team defeated a team led by Cliff Russell (non-playing captain) of Miami in a 128-deal final match. The Russell team consisted of Edgar Kaplan (NYC), Norman Kay (Narberth PA), Eric Rodwell (West Lafayette IN), Jeff Meckstroth (Pickerington OH), Bill Root (Boca Raton), and this writer.

On today’s deal Soloway, South, and Goldman, North, used fine judgment and clever tactics to create a swing for their team.

6 D South
N-S Vul
H 8 6 5
D K Q 8 6 4
C 8 7 6 4 3
1 H
2 H
2 S
6 D
1 S
4 H
5 H
5 D
5 S
S 7 5 4
H K Q J 7 4 3
D 5 3
C A 10
TableS K Q 9 8 6 3
H A 10 9 2
D 10
C 9 2

Lead: H K
S A J 10 2
D A J 9 7 2
C K Q J 5

South’s double of one spade was for takeout and North’s two-spade cue-bid showed good support for each minor suit. After East’s raise to four hearts, South suspected that a slam could be made; but he also realized that his nonvulnerable opponents would have a profitable sacrifice bid — East-West could bid six hearts for a deliberate loss of 500 points (down three) rather than lose 1370 points for six diamonds bid and made.

Therefore, South made a tactical underbid of five diamonds. When this was passed around, East took the obvious push to five hearts and South countered with five spades! This cue-bid was an effort to allow his partner to choose the final contract (North might have held longer clubs than diamonds). Six diamonds was easily made, losing only one trick to the club ace.

Holding the West cards, perhaps I should have sacrificed in six hearts anyway; but the uncertain tempo of the bidding led me to pass and try to defeat the slam. In the replay at the other table the six-heart sacrifice was taken, so Soloway’s clever bidding resulted in a handsome profit for his team.

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© 1984 Richard Pavlicek