Main     Column 7B50 by Richard Pavlicek    

Slam Hand Decides Match

The 55th-annual Southeastern Regional was completed last Sunday in Bal Harbour. Throngs of players from all over the country attended this seven-day tournament, held in the posh ballroom of the Sheraton Hotel.

One of the biggest winners was the Broward County team of Jeanni St. Jean (captain), Mat De Lieto, Erwin Cutler, David Marshall, and this writer’s son Richard Jr. They tied for first in the Flight B Swiss Teams and won outright the Flight B Knockout Teams, the latter with a “home run in the bottom of the ninth inning.”

The St. Jean team was trailing by 9 IMPs (international matchpoints) going into the last deal (see diagram). De Lieto, South, opened two notrump (a slight overbid, but very reasonable with so many tens) and St. Jean, North, responded three clubs — ostensibly the Stayman convention to explore for major suits.

6 D S A K 4
H J 2
D K 8 6 5
C J 10 4 3
Both Vul

West

Pass
Pass
Pass


North

3 C
4 C
6 D


East

Pass
Pass
All Pass


South
2 NT
3 D
4 D
S J 8 7 3
H Q 8 6 4
D 4 2
C Q 9 2
Table S Q 6 5
H 9 7 5 3
D Q 9 3
C 8 7 5
Lead: S 3 S 10 9 2
H A K 10
D A J 10 7
C A K 6

When South denied a four-card major suit with three diamonds, North continued with four clubs. In their partnership this bid had a special meaning — it inquired about the minor suits. South showed a four-card diamond suit and North proceeded immediately to slam.

West led a spade to dummy’s king and declarer tried a diamond to the 10 for a finesse. When this held, declarer drew trumps and gave up a trick to the club queen. The rest was easy. South’s spade loser was discarded on dummy’s fourth club and the heart ten was ruffed in dummy.

Observe that the slam must be played in diamonds since only 11 tricks can be made at notrump.

The St. Jean team gained 12 IMPs for bidding and making six diamonds when the opposing team lingered in three notrump on the same cards. This gave them an exciting 3-IMP victory.

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© 4-21-1985 Richard Pavlicek