Column 7C69 by Richard Pavlicek
The statewide final of the North American Open Pairs was held last month in Tampa. At stake were the prestige of representing Florida and an expense-paid trip to the national final in Buffalo, N.Y., next March. Top honors went to Robert Rosen and Andy OGrady (Andy is a lady) of Miami, adding another notch in their long string of successes as a partnership. Todays deal contributed to their win.
|4 South|| A Q J 5 3|
K Q J
A K 3
| K 7 6|
8 5 4
A 9 8 7 6
A J 10 9 7 6
10 9 8 6
| 9 8 4 2|
10 4 2
7 5 4 2
East threw a monkey wrench into the Rosen-OGrady machinery with a frisky three-heart preempt. This was passed around to Rosen, North, who made a takeout double, and OGrady dutifully bid her four-card spade suit. North continued to game with his fine hand.
The play began with a heart lead to the ace and another heart to the king. Declarer took advantage of the entry to her hand by taking the spade finesse, noting the fall of Easts 10. The diamond king was led to Wests ace and the diamond return was won in dummy.
Declarer would have liked to take the spade finesse again; but alas, there was no way to reach the South hand. The remaining diamond winner and both top clubs were cashed, then declarer had two options: (1) Exit with a club or (2) Exit with ace and another spade.
Line 1 would succeed if the outstanding clubs divided evenly, since the red-suit return would allow declarer to reach her hand to take the spade finesse. Line 2 would succeed if West held a doubleton club, since he would be compelled to give declarer a ruff and discard.
The decision was no guess for OGrady. She knew that East held six hearts (West led low), two diamonds and one spade. Therefore, East held four clubs, which dictated Line 2. West was thrown in with the spade king, and the heart return allowed declarer to discard dummys last club and ruff in her hand to make her contract.
© 1987 Richard Pavlicek