Beginning this weekend and lasting through September 27 is the World Bridge Championship at the Sheraton Bal Harbour Hotel. Fifty-five countries have sent their best players to attend this annual contest sponsored by the World Bridge Federation. Spectators will be accommodated with Vugraph large-screen projection of deals as they are played, with expert commentators. Good news: Admission is only $2.00 for each show, held daily at 10:30 A.M. and 7:00 P.M. Bad news: You will have to pay a lot more to park your car.
Todays deal is from the 1984 World Bridge Championship held in Seattle. The final pitted Poland against France for all the marbles, as the favored U.S. team had been upset by Austria in the quarterfinal round. When Poland held the North-South cards, the bidding proceeded as shown with South coming to rest in four spades doubled by West since he rightly felt that his side had the majority of high cards.
The French West found the killing lead of the club jack. East won the ace and South dropped the queen, a routine falsecard on the principle of playing the card one is known to hold; i.e., both defenders knew from the first trick that South held the club queen. East of course was not duped to believe that queen had to be a singleton; but he erred by shifting to the heart king. The defenders now could not obtain a club ruff, and declarer easily made his contract after forcing out the spade ace.
East should have returned a club at trick two specifically the seven, a suit-preference signal indicating that his reentry was in the higher ranking side suit (hearts). If West had led a singleton club, he then could underlead his heart ace to obtain two ruffs. In the actual case West could win the trump ace and underlead in hearts to obtain one ruff.
P.S. Poland won the championship.
© 1986 Richard Pavlicek